Shares of Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) fell more than 4 percent on Tuesday after the office supply retailer the firm reported a 12.4 percent first quarter profit gain but tempered its outlook sales and profit outlook for the next quarter.

Net income climbed 12.4 percent to $209.1 million, or 29 cents a share, compared to $186.1 million, or 25 cents per share earned during the same period last year. Sales at the Framingham, Massachusetts-based company also rose, gaining 8 percent to $4.59 billion.

The company said it saw higher sales of notebook computers and higher Europe sales.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial who had forecasted 29 cents a share on revenue of $4.66 billion.

“We are pleased with our overall performance in the first quarter, said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and CEO in a statement on Tuesday. “Our North American Delivery business is benefiting from terrific top line sales momentum and our International business remains firmly on track to drive significant profit improvement.

The company said North American retail store sales grew by 3 percent, driven by strong comps in laptop computers , peripherals, and business software. Copy and print services also grew, but the performance was offset by flat core office supplies, and furniture.

International sales increased 16 percent in U.S. dollars from a $58 million foreign currency impact, and increased five percent in local currency, the firm said.

Looking ahead the company expects second quarter and full year 2007 earnings growth at the “low end” of its 15 to 20 percent forecast. The company is anticipating full year earnings between $1.43 to $1.49 per share.

Shares of Staples fell $1.18, or 4.6 percent, to $24.49 in early trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.