Staples 1Q profit falls, misses Street estimates

Staples’ net income fell 9 percent in the first quarter, as revenue fell 4 percent with fewer people heading into its North American and European stores.

The office products company earned $169.9 million, or 26 cents per share, for the period ended May 4. A year earlier the Framingham-based company earned $187.1 million, or 27 cents per share.

The latest results were just shy of the 27 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet expected, on average.

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Revenue dropped to $5.81 billion from $6.03 billion, pressured by store closings and softer sales of computers, business machines, software, and technology accessories.

Staples Inc. said Wednesday that sales were strongest in tablets, facilities and breakroom supplies and copy and print services. Online sales increased 3 percent.

Wall Street was looking for $5.9 billion in revenue.

Revenue at stores in North America open at least a year dipped 2 percent. The figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed. The company also said the metric does not include online sales.

Customer traffic in North America dropped 2 percent in the quarter, with the average order size flat.

International revenue fell 13 percent on softness in Europe and Australia. Revenue at European stores open at least a year dropped 3 percent as a decline in traffic was somewhat offset by an increase in the average order size.

Staples still foresees full-year earnings from continuing operations between $1.30 and $1.35 per share. Revenue is still expected to be up by low single-digits compared with 2012’s $23.9 billion.

Analysts predict full-year earnings of $1.33 per share.

Its shares finished at $14.75 on Tuesday. They have been trading near the high end of their 52-week range of $10.57 to $15.19,