The Home Depot(R), the home improvement retailer, reported diluted earnings per share of U.S. $2.26, up 20.2 percent, on record net earnings of $5 billion for fiscal 2004, compared to diluted earnings per share of $1.88 on net earnings of $4.3 billion in fiscal 2003. Excluding the impact of EITF 02-16, earnings per diluted share for fiscal 2004 were $2.30, an increase of 22.3 percent. Sales for fiscal 2004 increased 12.8 percent over fiscal 2003 to $73.1 billion and comparable store sales grew by 5.4 percent.
The company reported diluted earnings per share of $0.47 (net earnings of $1.041 billion), up 11.9 percent for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004, compared with diluted earnings per share of $0.42 (net earnings of $951 million) in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003. Sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 totaled $16.8 billion, an 11.2 percent increase from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 increased 4.6 percent.
"In 2004, we maintained our disciplined approach to capital allocation, investing $3.9 billion back into our business and returning nearly $4 billion to shareholders. Over a four-year period, we have returned over 50 percent of our cumulative earnings to our shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases," said Carol Tome, executive vice president and CFO.
At the end of fiscal 2004, the company reported total assets of $39 billion, total stockholders' equity of $24 billion, and a return on invested capital of 21.5 percent, up 110 basis points from the prior year.
The company reiterated fiscal 2005 sales growth guidance of 9 to 12 percent and fiscal 2005 earnings per share growth of 10 to 14 percent. The Home Depot registered a record average ticket of $54.89 for fiscal 2004, representing an increase of 7.3 percent from fiscal 2003.
"Our results were strong across a broad range of merchandising categories and throughout North America as we drove innovation and new product selection in our stores. As an example, in 2004, we added new appliances from Maytag and Hotpoint, and introduced the exclusive GE Adora line," said John Costello, executive vice president of Merchandising and Marketing.
Customer transactions were 296 million for the fourth quarter, up 3.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2003. Total customer transactions for the year were 1.295 billion, up 3.9 percent from last fiscal year.
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