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Home Depot sales cool along with real estate market

ATLANTA — Home Depot’s fourth-quarter profit is short of expectations with rising real estate prices cooling home sales.Shares fell 2.6 per cent Tuesday before the opening bell.The home improvement retailer earned $2.34 billion, or $2.09 per share, far short of the per-share earnings of $2.22 Wall Street was looking for, according to a survey by FactSet.A year ago the Atlanta company earned $1.78 billion, or $1.52 per share.The current quarter was also nicked by a one-time charge or 16 cents per share.Revenue climbed to $26.49 billion, from $23.88 billion, helped by an extra week in the quarter, but that too was short of forecasts.Home Depot Inc.’s sales at stores open at least a year rose 3.2 per cent, also short of analyst expectations of a 4.5 per cent jump.The Associated Press

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