​During Pivot to Broader Platform, Office Depot Stocks Up on Buybacks

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Office Depot (ODP) is the owner of OfficeMax and Office Depot store brands, and one of the largest suppliers of office products and services in the worlds, notes David Fried, Here's the latest from his The Buyback Letter, an advisory service which specializes in stocks undergoing buyback programs.

We last bought the $2.7 billion office-supply retailer Office Depot in May and sold it a few months later. It has risen to the top of our filter again.

Office Depot released plans to pivot the company “from a traditional office products retailer to a broader business services and technology products platform.”

To make that happen Office Depot spent some $1.1 billion to buy CompuCom Systems, Inc., a provider of IT services, products and solutions for enterprise, small businesses and midsize businesses.

Analysts agree Office Depot was not going to survive as just a retailer of office products. Going into technology and tech support, in theory, gives it more to sell its existing customer base while also opening up new markets.

Office Depot launched a service called BizBox, a subscription-based business services platform to help startups and small businesses get off the ground.

The service assists with accounting, email marketing, CRM, payroll, HR, search marketing, asset management, social marketing, legal services, logo designs, website creation and hosting, and technical services.

ODP reported Q3 net income of $92 million, or profit of 17 cents per share. Adjusted earnings were 14 cents per share, which met Wall Street expectations. Revenue was $2.62 billion in the period, beating Street forecasts.

Sales fell to $2.62 billion, were hurt by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which disrupted its Puerto Rico and southeastern U.S. business. Office Depot has repurchased about 5.11% of its shares in the past 12 months.

David Fried is editor of The Buyback Letter.

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