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Home Depot 2Q hurt by housing weakness


ATLANTA Home Depot reported consolidated net earnings of $1.2 billion, or 71 cents per diluted share for its fiscal 2008 second quarter, compared with $1.6 billion, or 81 cents per diluted share, in the same period in fiscal 2007.

Sales for the second quarter totaled $21 billion, a 5.4% decrease from the second quarter of fiscal 2007, reflecting negative comparable-store sales of 7.9%, offset in part by sales from new stores.

"We continue to see pressure on our market and the consumer, generally," said Frank Blake, chairman and ceo. "Despite the macroeconomic conditions, we saw improved execution in our merchandising and operations initiatives during the past quarter. I am very proud of what our associates have accomplished in a difficult environment," said Blake.

Given the continued softness in the housing and home improvement markets as well as the commitment to invest in its key retail priorities, the company believes fiscal 2008 sales will decline by approximately 5% and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations will decline by approximately 24%. This is consistent with its previous guidance.

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