Staples sales miss estimates on weak Europe, North America

March 6 Wed Mar 6, 2013 6:16am EST

March 6 (Reuters) - Staples Inc, the largest U.S. office supply chain, reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue due to weak sales in Europe and North America.

Many investors look at office-supply retailers as a barometer of economic health because demand for their products is closely tied to white-collar employment rates.

The net income fell to $78.1 million, or 12 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, from $283.6 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.

Sales rose 3 percent to $6.56 billion, but missed Wall Street's average expectation of $6.72 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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