- The largest U.S. office supplies chain Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) reported weaker-than-expected first quarter earnings on Tuesday, sending its shares lower in pre-market trade.

Staples said earnings per share came in at $0.18 cents in the first three months of the year, compared to expectations for earnings of $0.21 cents per share. The company’s first quarter revenue totaled $5.65 billion, beating expectations for revenue of $5.35 billion.

First quarter 2014 total company sales growth was negatively impacted by approximately 1% due to changes in foreign exchange rates and store closures in North America during the 12 months preceding the first quarter of 2014.

“We’re making progress meeting the changing needs of our customers as we reinvent Staples,” said Ron Sargent, Staples chairman and chief executive officer.

He added that, “Despite a slow start to the first quarter, our results were in line with our expectations and we expect to build momentum throughout 2014.”

Following the release of the report, Staples shares lost 4.8% in pre-market trade.

Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets was mildly lower. The Dow pointed to a loss of 0.1% at the open, the S&P 500 lost 0.1%, while the Nasdaq 100 indicated a decline of 0.1% at the open.

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