With one less week, Home Depot sees Q4 sales slip

Excluding the additional week last year, HD sales increased 3.9% for the quarter

A Home Depot store in Colorado.

Atlanta-based The Home Deport reported fourth-quarter total sales of $17.7 billion. That's down 3.0% from the same quarter last year, which benefited from an extra week in the calendar.

On a 13-week basis, the company's sales actually increased 3.9%. 

The world's largest home improvement retailer reported comp-store sales in the fourth quarter increased 4.4% company-wide and 4.9% in the United States. Net earnings were $1.01 billion, down slightly from $1.02 billion a year ago.

For the full year, the company pointed to strong performances across the board. Net sales increased 5.4% to $78.8 billion. (Excluding the 53rd week from the prior year, the incrase was 7.2%.) Comp-store sales increased 6.8% for the company, and increased 7.5% for the U.S.

"In 2013, we posted our strongest comp sales growth in 14 years as solid execution and the recovering housing market aided our performance," said Frank Blake, CEO and chairman. 

Looking ahead, the company expects sales growth of about 4.8% in 2014, with comp-store sales growth of about 4.6%. The company's guidance also called for seven new stores. 

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