ATLANTA, GA -- The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, reported sales of $19.2 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, an 8.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 were positive 7.9 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 8.9 percent.
Net earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 were $1.4 billion, compared with net earnings of $1.0 billion in the same period of fiscal 2013. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, diluted earnings per share increased 43.8 percent from the same period in the prior year.
Fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 results reflect a pretax gain on sale of $111 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, related to the sale of a portion of the Company's equity ownership in HD Supply Holdings, Inc. Adjusting for the gain on sale, diluted earnings per share were $1.00 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, up 37.0 percent from the same period in the prior year.
"We had a strong finish to the year, as strength across the store, the recovering U.S. housing market and solid execution aided our business in 2014," said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president. "I'd like to thank our associates for their hard work and commitment to our customers."
The board of directors also authorized an $18.0 billion share repurchase program, replacing its previous authorization. Since 2002 and through February 1, 2015, the Company has returned more than $53 billion of cash to shareholders through repurchases, repurchasing approximately 1.2 billion shares.
Fiscal 2015 Guidance
Given the significant strengthening of the U.S. dollar, the Company provided a range of sales, comp sales and diluted earnings-per-share growth to reflect the difference between 2014 average exchange rates and current exchange rates. If currency exchange rates remain where they are today, this would cause a negative impact to fiscal 2015 net sales growth of approximately $1 billion, as well as a negative impact on diluted earnings per share of approximately $0.06 per share. The low-end of the Company's sales and diluted earnings-per-share growth guidance reflects this currency impact.