Home Depot profit rises on housing market recovery

Beats earnings expectations

Home improvement store Home Depot (HD) reported net earnings for the fourth quarter of $1.4 billion, or $1.05 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $1.0 billion, or $0.73 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2013.

This beat analyst earnings per share estimates by $0.11 and revenue by $460 million.

For the fourth quarter of 2014, diluted earnings per share increased 43.8% from the same period in the prior year.

The results reflect a pretax gain on sale of $111 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, related to the sale of a portion of the company's equity ownership in HD Supply Holdings, Inc.

The company posted sales of $19.2 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, an 8.3% increase from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 were positive 7.9%, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 8.9%.

For fiscal 2014, sales were $83.2 billion, an increase of 5.5% from fiscal year 2013. Total company comparable store sales for fiscal year 2014 increased 5.3%, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 6.1% for the year.

"We had a strong finish to the year, as strength across the store, the recovering U.S. housing market and solid execution aided our business in 2014," said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president. 

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