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Home Depot profit drops 27.5 pct in fourth quarter, reports first annual sales decline

Home Depot profit drops 27.5 pct in fourth quarter, reports first annual sales decline

The Home Depot Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit fell more than 27 percent and a dour housing market contributed to the first annual sales decline for the world's largest home improvement store chain.
And the company expects more headwinds in 2008.
The results for the latest quarter fell short of Wall Street expectations.
Home Depot also said it plans to open only 55 new stores this year. That's about half as many as it opened last year. Home Depot has been scaling back the number of new store openings in recent years.
The Atlanta-based company said it earned $671 million (euro452.86 million), or 40 cents a share, in the three months ending Feb. 3, compared with a profit of $925 million, or 46 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.
Earnings per share from continuing operations in the quarter were 40 cents, compared with 42 cents a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting Home Depot earnings of 43 cents a share in the fourth quarter.
Despite an extra sales week, revenue in the quarter rose only 1.5 percent to $17.66 billion (euro11.92 billion), compared with $17.4 billion a year earlier. Excluding that extra week, fourth-quarter sales declined 4.7 percent compared with a year ago. Revenue for fiscal 2007 declined 2.1 percent to $77.35 billion (euro52.2 billion). Spokesman Ron DeFeo said that was the first ever annual sales decline for Home Depot.
Sales at stores open at least a year declined 8.3 percent in the quarter. The company's average sales ticket declined 2.3 percent to $54.96 (euro37.09) in the quarter, compared with $56.27 a year ago.
"This was a difficult year financially, but I believe the progress we made on our key priorities set the foundation for the long term health of our company," Chief Executive Frank Blake said in a statement.
Still, Blake said 2008 will be challenging, though he said the company will continue to press on with its key priorities, which include improving its stores.
The company said it expects to see a total sales decline in fiscal 2008 of 4 percent to 5 percent. It also is projecting a continuing operations earnings per share decline of 19 percent to 24 percent for the full year.
For all of fiscal 2007, Home Depot said it earned $4.4 billion (euro2.97 billion), or $2.37 (euro1.60) a share, compared with a profit of $5.76 billion, or $2.79 a share, for fiscal 2006. Its $77.35 billion (euro52.2 billion) in full-year sales compared with $79.02 billion a year earlier.
At the end of the fourth quarter, Home Depot operated 2,234 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico and China.
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On the Net:
http://www.homedepot.com


Updated : 2021-04-22 23:17 GMT+08:00