Continuing US housing market woes, showing no signs of letting up, helped drag Home Depot’s fourth quarter profits down 27% over the same quarter last year, to $671 million from $925 million. The world’s largest home-improvement retailer also predicted fiscal-year earnings will drop 19% to 24%, more than twice the decline analysts had expected, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Revenue inched 1.5% higher, aided by an extra week of sales, to $17.66 billion. Without the extra week, sales actually declined nearly 5% in the fourth quarter. Analysts expected revenue to hit $18.02 billion. Full-year sales dropped to $77.35 billion from $79.02 billion in 2006. The company said it will open 55 stores in 2008, about half its norm.