Stock Watch: Staples Falls on Loss From Net Business

Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) shares fell 4 11/16 to 21 5/8 after the company announced that its online division, Staples.com, had big losses in the fourth quarter and year ended Jan. 29th. The loss from the division widened to $9.8 million in the fourth quarter from $300,000 in the year-earlier quarter, and to $16.4 million for the full year, versus $500,000 in the prior year, the office-supplies retailer said.

Revenue, however, rose in both periods. Jeanne Lewis, president of Staples.com, said the company would “invest in acquiring new customers” and make improvements to its site. “The current growth in business-to-business e-commerce, we believe, offers exciting potential for Staples.com, and the time to capitalize on this is now,” she said.

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