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The Home Depot, Atlanta, GA, reported a net loss of $54 million for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, 2009, compared with net earnings of $671 million, in the same period in fiscal 2007. Sales for the fourth quarter totaled $14.6 billion, a 17.3% decrease from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.
Fourth quarter results reflect a pre-tax business rationalization charge of $387 million, taken to exit its EXPO, THD Design Center, YardBIRDS and HD Bath businesses and reduce support staff functions. Results were also impacted by a pre-tax write-down of the Company's investment in HD Supply of $163 million, as well as a loss from discontinued operations of $52 million.
Sales for fiscal 2008 were $71.3 billion, 7.8% below fiscal 2007. Profit decreased 47.7% to $2.3 billion. Fiscal 2008 results reflect a $1.1 billion charge related to the business rationalization charge of $387 million and the write-down of the Company's investment in HD Supply of $163 million in the fourth quarter, as well as a $564 million store rationalization charge related to the closing of 15 stores and the removal of 50 stores from the Company's new store pipeline. Fiscal 2008 results also include a loss from discontinued operations of $52 million.
"We expect the home improvement market in 2009 will remain just as challenging as 2008, but we will continue to invest in our associates and stores to set a strong foundation for the long term health of our company," CEO Frank Blake said. For fiscal 2009, sales are expected to decline 9%.