ATLANTA -- The Home Depot®, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $19.5 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, a 7.4 percent increase from the third quarter of fiscal 2012. On a like for like basis, comparable store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 were positive 7.4 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 8.2 percent.

Net earnings for the third quarter were $1.4 billion, or $0.95 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $947 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2012. For the third quarter of fiscal 2013, diluted earnings per share increased 50.8 percent from the same period in the prior year. The prior year results reflect a nonrecurring charge of approximately $165 million, net of tax, or $0.11 per diluted share, due to the closing of seven stores in China. On an adjusted basis, the Company reported a 28.4 percent increase in diluted earnings per share from the same period in the prior year.

"Our third quarter results reflect the continuing improvement in the housing market and our solid operational performance," said Frank Blake, chairman & CEO. "I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication."

Updated Fiscal 2013 Guidance

Based on its year-to-date performance and outlook for the remainder of the year, the Company raised its fiscal 2013 sales guidance and now expects sales to be up approximately 5.6 percent. Comparable store sales, on a 52-week like for like basis, are expected to be up approximately 7.0 percent for the year. The Company raised its fiscal 2013 diluted earnings-per-share guidance and now expects diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 24.0 percent to $3.72 for the year. The Company's fiscal 2013 sales and diluted earnings-per-share guidance is based on a 52-week year compared to fiscal 2012, a 53-week year.

This diluted earnings-per-share guidance includes the benefit of the Company's year-to-date share repurchases totaling $6.4 billion and the Company's intent to repurchase $2.1 billion of additional shares in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

On December 11 at 9 a.m. ET, the Company will hold an Investor and Analyst Conference. All presentations will be webcast live at in the Events & Presentations section.

At the end of the third quarter, the Company operated a total of 2,260 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.

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