Home Depot Fourth Quarter Profit Rises

Home Depot Inc., Atlanta, the nation’s No. 1 home retailer, said quarterly earnings rose 23 percent.

The company said sales should rise 14 percent to 17 percent this year, once the $3.2 billion acquisition of Hughes Supply Inc. closes.

Net income rose to $1.29 billion in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29 from $1.04 billion a year earlier.

The Home Depot Supply represented about 5 percent of Home Depot’s sales in 2005. Hughes Supply will more than double the size of Home

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