Earnings: Office Depot | Chevron

Office Depot 2Q Profit Rises 18 Percent

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Office Depot Inc. (ODP), the nation's second-largest office supply chain behind Staples Inc. (SPLS), said Friday that second-quarter earnings rose 18 percent on higher sales and improved margins.

For the quarter ended July 1, net income grew to $118.3 million, or 41 cents per share, from $100 million, or 31 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding exit costs and other charges, the latest-quarter profit was 43 cents per share.

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Total sales climbed 4 percent to $3.49 billion from $3.36 billion in the second quarter of 2005.

The results beat analysts' expectations for profit of 40 cents per share, though sales were below Wall Street's $3.51 billion estimate, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

Its shares fell $1.47, or 4 percent, to $35.68 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Sales in North America rose 5 percent, while international sales increased 1 percent in U.S. dollars and 2 percent in local currencies. North American retail same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least one year, were up 1 percent for the quarter.

During the period, Office Depot completed acquisitions in North America and South Korea, and acquired an incremental interest leading to a majority stake in the company's business in Israel. Office Depot said that these operations didn't significantly boost quarterly results.

Gross margins improved 10 basis points to 30.9 percent, and North American retail margins increased but North American business solutions and international margins posted slight decreases, primarily due to cost pressures in certain product categories.

Chevron 2Q Profit Hits New High

SAN RAMON, Calif. - Chevron Corp. (CVX) said Friday its second-quarter profit surged 18 percent to set a new three-month high for the 127-year-old company and cap the latest round of enormous earnings for the oil industry. But the results were below analysts' expectations, and the company's shares tumbled more than 3 percent.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based company said it earned $4.35 billion, or $1.97 per share, for the three months ended in June. That compared with net income of $3.68 billion, or $1.76 per share, at the same time last year.

Revenue totaled $53.5 billion, an 11 percent increase from $48.3 billion last year.

The earnings marked Chevron's highest profit for any three-month period, eclipsing the $4.14 billion in net income that the company made during the final three months of last year when energy prices spiked in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Wall Street had been expecting much bigger things from Chevron. The average earnings estimate among analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had been $2.21 per share.

Chevron would have come closer to hitting that target if not for a $300 million charge that decreased its earnings by 13 cents per share. The reduction reflected the company's uninsured costs for equipment ravaged in by last year's hurricanes.

Like the rest of its industry peers, Chevron has been capitalizing on soaring oil prices that have pushed gasoline prices above $3 per gallon in many parts of the country, squeezing consumer and business budgets and provoking the ire of politicians.

Earlier this week, Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), BP PLC (BP), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC reported a combined profit of $30.2 billion.

Chevron shares fell $2.11, or 3.1 percent, to $65.62 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, still near the high end of a 52-week range of $53.76 to $68.47.

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Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.