Office Depot posts loss in line with expectations, sales fall

July 30 Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:45am EDT

July 30 (Reuters) - Office Depot Inc reported on Tuesday a quarterly loss in line with analyst expectations, as tight cost controls helped offset weak sales at the second-largest U.S. office supply retailer.

The news came as the company awaits regulatory approval for its deal to buy smaller rival OfficeMax Inc.

In the second quarter, Office Depot's net loss after preferred stock dividends was $64.4 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with $64.3 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding merger-related expenses and charges related to restructuring and impairment, the loss was 10 cents a share, in line with analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Lackluster demand for laptops and belt-tightening by its federal customers hurt sales, which fell 4 percent to $2.42 billion, while analysts had expected $2.43 billion.

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