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Home Depot Q4 Results Edge Past Street’s Estimate (HD)

Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) reported on Tuesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings climbed 32% thanks to favorable comparables, improving demand for home improvement  products in the backdrop of resurging  housing sector and refurbishments that ensued after the devastating super storm Sandy.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based Company also increased its quarterly dividend 34% to 39 cents a share and said that the board has approved $17 billion shares buyback program, replace

Shares climbed nearly 2.30% in premarket hours.

For the fiscal fourth quarter concluded on February 3, Home Depot reported a profit of $1.02 billion or 68 cents a share compared to a profit of $774 million or 50 cents a share, in the year earlier quarter. During the fourth quarter the company recorded a onetime gain of penny a share related to previously announced store closure in China.

Excluding onetime gains, adjusted earnings came at 67 cents a share, beating analysts’ earnings forecast by 3 cents, according to a data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Sales during the period jumped 14% to $18.25 billion, ahead of analysts’ estimate for $17.7 billion.

The Company said that it had one extra working week in the fourth quarter of 2012 which helped driving up the revenue by $1.2 billion and boosting earnings per share by 7 cents.

Gross margin remained more or less unchanged at 34.9% in the recently concluded quarter compared to 35% in the year earlier quarter.

Same-store-sales, a key gauge in retail chain’s performance, climbed 7% while in the U.S. it jumped 7.1% with average billing of $55.46, a 5.6% increase from the year earlier quarter.

Looking ahead at fiscal 2013, the world’s largest home-improvement retailer expects earnings of about $3.37 a share assuming a 3% growth in same-store-sales and 2% increase in overall sales, falling short of Street’s estimate for $3.49 a share.

Just a day earlier, Home Depot’s smaller rival Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) also reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter results but provided outlook which fell short of Street’s consensus estimates.


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