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Home Depot Gets Boost in Q3, Raises Expectations for Fiscal 2012

ATLANTA - An improving housing market was partially credited with helping The Home Depot churn better-than-expected third quarter sales, comps and earnings, prompting a more positive revised guidance for the fiscal year.
     Net earnings increased 1.4% to $947 million, or 63 cents per diluted share, compared with $934 million, or 60 cents per diluted share. The company explained that these results reflect a nonrecurring charge of $165 million, net of tax, or 11 cents per diluted share due to the previously announced closing of seven stores in China. On an adjusted basis, Home Depot's net earnings jumped 23.3% to $1.1 billion, or 74 cents per diluted share, from the prior year.
     Sales for the 13 weeks were up 4.6% to $18.1 billion, versus $17.3 billion a year ago, and comparable store sales for U.S. stores increased 4.3%.
     Buoyed by its performance, The Home Depot updated its fiscal 2012 guidance and raised its sales growth guidance to be up 5.2% for the year on a 53- week basis, and diluted earnings per share to be up 18% to $2.92 for the year.
     On an adjusted basis, the company raised its diluted earnings per share growth guidance to be up 23% to $3.03 excluding the $0.11 per diluted share impact related to the closing of seven stores in China.

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