Home Depot Q4 Earnings Top Wall Street Expectations, Extra Week Proves Beneficial For World's Largest Retailer [PHOTO]

 @CareyDrew2 on February 26 2013 9:29 AM
The Home Depot
The world's largest home improvement retailer's Q1 results pleasantly surprised Wall Street's analysts. Reuters

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) announced its fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 results early Tuesday, topping Wall Street analysts' expectations.

Reports indicate that an extra week of sales in the current quarter and purchases made in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy helped the world’s largest retailer rake in sales of $18.25 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 -- a 13.9 percent increase from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter were $1 billion, or 68 cents per diluted share, up from earnings of $774 million, or 50 cents per share, in the year-ago period.  

Analysts had expected the company to report a profit of 64 cents per share on $17.7 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

According to Home Depot, the 14th week of sales added about $1.2 billion to its top line, and it boosted earnings by about 7 cents a share.

The Atlanta-based company also announced it would buy back as much as $17 billion of its own shares, and raise its dividend 35 percent to 39 cents from 29 cents a share. Earnings after the planned share repurchases will be up 12 percent to $3.37 a share in fiscal year 2013, the company said.

Home Depot projected fiscal 2013 sales growth to be approximately two percent, but be up 3 percent on a same-store sales basis.

Just one day earlier, competitor Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) posted earnings that also topped analysts’ expectations as a result of the improvements in the U.S. housing market and purchases made in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. For fiscal 2013, Lowe's said it expects to earn $2.05 a share; however, analysts estimate it will earn $2.10 a share.

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