Home improvement retailer Home Depot (HD) reported a profit of $342m, or $0.20 per share, for its fiscal year fourth quarter ending January 31. That’s an improvement from last year’s fiscal fourth quarter, when Home Depot lost $54m, or $0.03 per share. But it's lower than Home Depot’s Q309 net earnings of $689m, or $0.41 per share. Home Depot said its sales performance was driven by gains in kitchen and bath, paint, flooring and plumbing as well as its international businesses. For the year, Home Depot reported net earnings of $2.66bn, up 17.7% from $2.26bn a year ago. Q409 sales were $14.57bn, down 0.3% from Q408, and comparable store sales for US stores were negative 1.1%. However, total company comparable store sales for the fourth quarter grew 1.2%, the Atlanta-based chain said. Results were impacted by a $163m pre-tax write-down of Home Depot’s investment in HD Supply, a wholesale distributor in the US and Canada. “Despite the tough economic environment, we were able to make solid progress against our key initiatives in 2009,” said chairman and CEO Frank Blake. “For the year, we grew US share by more than 100 basis points.” In 2010, Home Depot will open six new stores and projects store sales growth of 2.5% and earnings per share from continuing operations to grow by 15.5% to $1.79. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.