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With one less week, Home Depot sees Q4 sales slip

BY HBSDEALER Staff

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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HCN Stock Watch: Trex jumps ahead

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The majority of the 30 stocks rose at the close of Monday, as Trex raced ahead with a 20.73% increase.

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Leviton plants flag in South Africa

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Melville, N.Y.-based Leviton announced the establishment of its first base of operations in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new South African facility, which will operate as Leviton Africa (Pty), will provide commercial lighting solutions to customers in one of the world’s most rapidly expanding markets. 

With the opening, Leviton also furthers its global expansion efforts to now include a footprint on all seven continents. 

“Over the past decade, Leviton has systematically and strategically grown our global presence to connect with the world’s most robust economies, insomuch that we now reach every continent around the globe,” said Bruno Filio, VP international business development for Leviton. “The Johannesburg facility has been a vital component of our global expansion efforts as it establishes the foundation for Leviton in South Africa and sets the stage for possible expansion to neighboring countries.”

The Johannesburg facility will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Leviton, while selling commercial lighting and networking products through specialized distributors. Michael Traynor, an executive with extensive experience in the regional market, will serve as the site lead. 

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