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Home Depot Finishes 2012 Strong

The Home Depot posted fiscal 2012 net earnings of $4.54 billion, or $3 per diluted share, compared to $3.88 billion, or $2.47 per diluted share, in fiscal 2011. Total company comparable store sales for the year increased 4.6%, according to the retailer, and comps for stores in the United States gained 4.9% in the period.

Sales for fiscal 2012 gained 6.2% to $74.8 billion from the year earlier.

Home Depot’s net earnings for the fourth quarter were $1.02 billion, or 68 cent per diluted share, versus $774 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, in the fiscal 2011 period., the company reported. Fourth quarter comparable store sales increased 7% company wide and 7.1% in the U.S.

Total sales increased 13.9% to $18.2 billion versus the 2011 period.

The 2012 fourth quarter consisted of 14 weeks compared with 13 weeks in With an extra week of fiscal 2012 revenues excluded, sales in fiscal 2012 increased by 4.5% from the year earlier. The 14th week added about $1.2 billion in sales for the quarter and the year. Excluding the 14th week, fourth quarter sales increased by 6.3% year over year. Home Depot did not included the extra week in comp results for the quarter or the year, it said.

Earnings per diluted share reflect a nonrecurring charge of approximately $145 million, net of tax, or 10 cents per diluted share, associated with China store closings. On an adjusted basis, earnings per diluted share in fiscal 2012 were $3.10 versus $2.47 in fiscal 2011,.

Results also reflected a favorable adjustment to a previously announced China store closing charge of approximately $20 million, net of tax, or one cent per diluted share. The 14th week increased earnings per diluted share by seven cents for the quarter and the year, Home Depot said.

Earnings per share beat a published Thomson Reuter’s average analyst estimate by three cents. Revenues exceeded estimates as well.

“We ended the year with a strong performance as our business benefited from a continued recovery in the housing market coupled with sales related to repairs in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO.

By fourth quarter’s end, Home Depot operated a total of 2,256 retail stores in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.