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OfficeMax 1Q profit surges, OKs special dividend

NAPERVILLE – OfficeMax Inc. said Tuesday that its fiscal first-quarter net income soared, driven by a large deferred gain tied to its investment in Boise Cascade Holdings LLC.

The office and facility supplies company also declared a special dividend of $1.50 per share, and its stock edged up in premarket trading.

For the period ended March 30, OfficeMax earned $56.3 million, or 64 cents per share. That's up sharply from $4.9 million, or 6 cents per share, a year ago.

OfficeMax has a minority stake in Boise Cascade, a maker of plywood and other building materials. Boise Cascade went public in February.

Excluding $85.4 million for the Boise Cascade-related deferred gains and a $6.9 million charge tied to its merger with Office Depot Inc., earnings were 11 cents per share.

Analysts predicted higher earnings of 23 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $1.77 billion from $1.87 billion, with soft economic conditions pressuring results and sales declining in its retail and contract segments. Wall Street was looking for higher revenue of $1.83 billion.

For the second quarter, OfficeMax anticipates revenue will be lower than the prior-year period. It also foresees full-year revenue coming in below the previous year's results. The Naperville, Ill. company did not provide specific revenue figures.

OfficeMax said the special dividend will be paid on July 2 to shareholders of record on June 12.

The company has more than 900 stores.

Its stock rose a penny to $11.75 in premarket trading 70 minutes before the market opening after rising as high as $12.05 an hour earlier.

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