Consumer Stocks Losing Some Ground During Afternoon Trade

Consumer stocks were mostly higher in recent trade, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 climbing nearly 0.5% this afternoon while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were posting a more than 0.4% gain.

In company news, Office Depot (ODP) fell sharply on Wednesday, sinking more than 20% to a session low of $3.66 a share after the specialty retailer last night said it has acquired CompuCom Systems Inc from Thomas H. Lee Partners for $1 billion, which includes repaid CompuCom debt and an 8% equity stake in Office Depot for the private-equity firm.

The company last night also issued its preliminary Q3 financial results and lowered its FY17 outlook. It now expects total reported sales to decline 7% to 8% during the 13 weeks ending Sept. 30, including store closings, compared with the same quarter last year, That translates into a range of $2.61 billion to $2.75 billion, compared with the analyst mean looking for around $2.63 billion in quarterly sales.

It also sees non-GAAP Q3 operating income between $125 million to $135 million. For the 12 months ending in December, Office Depot is now modeling a non-GAAP operating profit in a range of $400 million to $425 million, excluding the impact of the CompuCom transaction, down from its previous estimate expecting around $500 million in FY17 operating income.

In other sector news,

(+) PICO, (+1.3%) Sells its 2.4-mln-share stake in Century Communities (CCS) for about $59.2 mln in net proceeds.

(-) AAP, (-4.1%) Raymond James downgrade to Market Perform from Strong Buy.

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