Staples Inc SPLS
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 03/06/2013

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Quarter Four 2012 Staples, Inc. Earnings Conference Call. My name is Sheila, and I will be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are on a listen-only mode. We will conduct the question-and-answer session towards the end of this conference. As a reminder, this call is being recorded for replay purposes.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Chris Powers, Director of Investor Relations. Please proceed, sir.

Chris Powers - IR: Thanks, Sheila. Good morning, everyone and thanks for joining us for our fourth quarter and full year 2012 earnings announcement. During today's call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP metrics and comparable period measure including or excluding the 53-week in fiscal 2012 to provide investors with useful information about our financial performance.

I'd also like to point out that we realigned our reporting segment during the fourth quarter of 2012. We've restated our historical reporting segment results to reflect our new structure and will refer to those restated numbers when comparing our 2012 results to the prior year.

Please see the financial measures and other data section of the Investor Information portion of for an explanation and reconciliation of non-GAAP measures and other calculations of financial measures that we use to analyze our business and restated historical reporting segment results.

I'd also like to remind you that certain information discussed on this call constitutes forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those discussed or referenced under the heading Risk Factors and elsewhere in Staples' 10-Q filed this morning.

Here to discuss Staples' Q4 and full year performance and business outlook are Ron Sargent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Christine Komola, Chief Financial Officer. Also joining us are, Demos Parneros, President of North American Stores and Online; Joe Doody, President of North American Commercial; and John Wilson, President of Europe.


Ronald L. Sargent - Chairman and CEO: Well, thanks, Chris, and good morning, everybody. Thanks for joining us today. This morning, we reported our results for the fourth quarter and for the full year of 2012 and I'll start with the headlines. Total Company sales for the fourth quarter increased 3% to $6.6 billion, excluding $461 million of sales during the extra week in the quarter. Total Company sales were down 4% versus the prior year.

We reported earnings of $0.14 per share from continuing operations on a GAAP basis. During the quarter, as you know, we incurred charges which negatively impacted our Q4 results by about $0.32 per share, and if you exclude these items non-GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations increased 12% to $0.46. For the full year, we achieved total Company sales of $24.4 billion. This reflects a 1% decline and a 3% decline on a 52-week basis, compared to 2011.

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