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Home Depot Posts Better-Than- Expected Earnings: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include Home Depot (HD - Get Report) after the No. 1 home-improvement chain in the U.S. reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results.

Home Depot reported net earnings of $1 billion, or 68 cents a share, for the fourth quarter, up from $774 million, or 50 cents a share, a year ago. The company earned 67 cents a share on an adjusted basis, beating analysts' earnings expectations of 64 cents a share.

Sales rose to $18.9 billion, exceeding analysts' expectations of $17.7 billion.

Home Depot also raised its quarterly dividend to 39 cents a share, a 34% boost, and announced a $17 billion stock repurchase program.

The results come one day after Home Depot's biggest competitor, Lowe's (LOW - Get Report), reported less impressive earnings.

Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) is trending as former director Rajat Gupta has been ordered to repay the company over $6.2 million.

Gupta is currently appealing his insider trading conviction and two-year prison term. The former global managing director of consulting firm McKinsey & Co. was found guilty of leaking confidential information at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

A federal judge has now ordered Gupta to pay the fee to help Goldman cover its legal expenses in the case. The amount is 90% of what Goldman has sought to recover -- a total of $6.91 million.

Gupta was found guilty of leaking information he obtained at Goldman Sachs' board meetings to Raj Rajaratnam, former billionaire and Galleon Group hedge fund manager. Rajaratnam is currently appealing his 11-year prison term and criminal conviction.

Macy's (M - Get Report) is another popular search. The retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates.

Macy's reported earnings of $2.05 per share excluding items, exceeding expectations of $1.99 per share. Revenue totaled $9.35 billion, beating expectations of $9.3 billion.

The company attributed the higher results to stronger sales driven by merchandise tailored to local markets.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.
Brittany joined TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.

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