Home Depot 4Q EPS Up 27.7%

Atlanta, GA, February 21, 2006--Home Depot reported diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter that rose 27.7 percent to a record $0.60 on net earnings of $1.3 billion, compared with $0.47 on net earnings of $1.0 billion reported for the same period in fiscal 2004. Sales for the fourth quarter were $19.5 billion, a 15.9 percent increase from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 increased 5.5 percent. For fiscal 2005, diluted earnings per share increased 20.4 percent to $2.72 on net earnings of $5.8 billion, compared to diluted earnings per share of $2.26 on net earnings of $5.0 billion in fiscal 2004. Sales for fiscal 2005 increased to $81.5 billion, an 11.5 percent increase over fiscal 2004, and comparable store sales for the year grew 3.8 percent. "Our performance in 2005 reflects the hard work and dedication of our 345,000 associates, and I want to personally thank them for another year of record results. We are grateful to our loyal customers and suppliers who continue to make us the No. 1 home improvement retailer in the world," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president & CEO. "In 2006, we will capitalize on our strong momentum and continue to deliver sustainable, predictable and profitable growth." Average ticket grew to a record $57.98 for fiscal year 2005, an increase of 5.6 percent over the prior year. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005, average ticket was $57.20, an increase of 5.7 percent compared to the same quarter during the previous year and represents an approximate $10 increase over the last five years. Significant merchandising accomplishments in 2005 include: The company said its s merchandising successes in 2005 were bolstered by store technology initiatives that increased efficiency across the store. Significant technology initiatives in 2005 include: - Completed the rollout of back-end scanned receiving to all U.S. and Canadian stores - Commenced vendor certification for certified receiving - Continued installation of self-checkout registers, now in 1,272 stores - Grew centralized automated replenishment to 20 percent of store sales - Implemented a Special Order Services Initiative pilot in 285 stores and at the Tampa Call Center In addition, through its regular "Voice of the Customer" surveys, the company saw continued improvement in every key attribute, such as associate engagement, speed of checkout, associate know-how and merchandise selection. Building on the growing demand for do-it-for-me services, The Home Depot's services business grew 21.4 percent during fiscal 2005, driven by strong growth in installation categories such as countertops, roofing/gutters, kitchens, windows and HVAC. During the fourth quarter, the company acquired Chem-Dry, the world's largest carpet and upholstery cleaning franchisor. Chem-Dry has nearly 4,000 franchises worldwide, including 2,500 in the United States, and it services 10,000 homes every day. Chem-Dry is thought to complement the company's services business. Significant accomplishments in extending the business in 2005 include: - Increased product offerings on homedepot.com to more than 30,000 products; the site now averages 3 million visits per week - Launched two unique direct-to-customer brands: 10 Crescent Lane and Paces Trading Company, offering home decor and lighting options, respectively, both through innovative catalogs and e-commerce sites - Opened 179 new stores, including five relocations - Opened its 2,000th store, including the 54th store in Mexico In 2005, The Home Depot continued to expand its market through continued growth in Home Depot Supply, which represents approximately 5 percent of the company's sales. Home Depot Supply experienced triple-digit growth for fiscal 2005, strengthening its position in the Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) Builder, and Professional Supply platform.