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Office Depot (ODP ): Maintains 4 STARS (accumulate)
Analyst: Yogeesh Wagle

Office Depot posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 22 cents vs. 23 cents, before one-time charges, 2 cents below S&P's estimate. Sales rose 14%, reflecting the mid-2003 Guilbert acquisition and positive currency effects. North American retail sales slid 3%, on a 4% same-store sales drop. S&P sees the office supply retailer's North American retail sales continuing to improve in 2004, as merchandising and customer service initiatives take hold, with international operations benefiting from synergies from the Guilbert acquisition. S&P believes the shares are attractive on a brighter outlook and a current valuation below peers and the S&P 500.
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