ATLANTA - The Home Depot®, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $18.1 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2012, a 4.6 percent increase from the third quarter of fiscal 2011. Comparable store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were positive 4.2 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 4.3 percent.

Net earnings for the third quarter were $947 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $934 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2011. These results reflect a nonrecurring charge of approximately $165 million, net of tax, or $0.11 per diluted share due to the previously announced closing of seven stores in China. On an adjusted basis, the Company reported net earnings of $1.1 billion, or $0.74 per diluted share, a 23.3 percent increase from the same period in the prior year.

“Our third-quarter results were better than we expected and reflected, in part, what we believe is the start of the path toward the healing of the housing market,” said Frank Blake, chairman & CEO. “I particularly want to thank all of our associates who are helping the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy. They are working under difficult circumstances, often with their own lives and homes disrupted by the storm, and their efforts exemplify our core values.”

Updated Fiscal 2012 Guidance

Based on its performance through the third quarter, the Company updated its fiscal 2012 guidance and raised its sales growth guidance to be up approximately 5.2 percent for the year on a 53-week basis. The Company expects fiscal 2012 diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 18 percent to $2.92 for the year.

On an adjusted basis, the Company raised its diluted earnings per share growth guidance to be up approximately 23 percent to $3.03 excluding the $0.11 per diluted share impact related to the closing of seven stores in China.

This earnings-per-share guidance includes the benefit of the Company’s year-to-date share repurchases and the Company’s intent to repurchase $700 million in additional shares in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which will bring the total dollar amount of shares repurchased to $4 billion for the year.

The Home Depot will conduct a conference call today at 9 a.m. ET to discuss information included in this news release and related matters. The conference call will be available in its entirety through a webcast and replay at earnings.homedepot.com.

At the end of the third quarter, the Company operated a total of 2,250 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.

The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Source: The Home Depot

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