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OfficeMax Rises Most in 11 Months as Profit Triples

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Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- OfficeMax Inc., the third-largest office-supply retailer in the U.S., surged the most in almost 11 months in New York trading after third-quarter profit surpassed some analysts’ estimates.

Earnings in the quarter ended Sept. 25 more than tripled to $20 million, or 23 cents a share, from $5.66 million, or 7 cents, a year earlier, the Naperville, Illinois-based company said in a statement today. Analysts anticipated 12 cents, the average of 12 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

The retailer has increased profit margins through store closings and cost cutting. OfficeMax, which named a new chief executive officer this month, also is tailoring more products to women and offering more services and items tied to computers.

“OfficeMax delivered better than expected third quarter results on the back of significant gross margin expansion,” Gary Balter, an analyst for Credit Suisse in New York, wrote in a note to clients. Balter rates OfficeMax shares “outperform.”

OfficeMax rose $2.25, or 15 percent, to $17.10 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the largest advance since Dec. 4. The shares have surged 35 percent this year.

On Oct. 13, OfficeMax said Ravi Saligram will become CEO as of Nov. 8, replacing Sam Duncan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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