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Home Depot shares rise on Q4 profit that beats Street, increased dividend

Home Depot shares rise on Q4 profit that beats Street, increased dividend

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) Tuesday said that a recovering U.S. housing market and sales related to Hurricane Sandy clean-up efforts helped its fourth-quarter results top views.

The company also declared a 34-per-cent increase in its quarterly dividend to 39 cents per share, payable on March 28, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 14. 

Shares of the company rose 3.75 per cent on the back of the news, trading at $65.68 as at about 9:30 a.m. EDT.

The world's biggest home-improvement retailer said that net income for the three months that ended February 3 was $1.0 billion or 68 cents per diluted share, compared to $774 million or 50 cents per diluted share, a year earlier. 

Excluding a favourable adjustment to a charge from a China store closing, adjusted earnings were 67 cents a share. 

Sales of $18.2 billion were up 13.9 per cent year-over year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting per share earnings of 64 cents on revenue of $17.69 billion.

“We ended the year with a strong performance as our business benefited from a continued recovery in the housing market coupled with sales related to repairs in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy," said chairman and CEO Frank Blake. 

Total same-store sales, a key gauge of a retailer's health, increased seven percent in the fourth quarter, and 7.1 per cent in the U.S. 

Home Depot said its board also authorized a $17.0 billion share buyback program, replacing its previous authorization. Since 2002 and through to February 3, the company has bought back about 1 billion shares.

Looking ahead to full-year 2013, Home Depot said it expects sales growth of about two per cent and same-store sales growth of roughly three per cent, while diluted earnings per share are forecast to increase about 12 per cent to $3.37.

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