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Home Depot

(HD) - Get Home Depot Inc. (The) Report

, the world's largest home improvement retailer, said third-quarter earnings declined 31% to $756 million, or 45 cents a share, from $1.1 billion, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier as same-store sales dropped 8.3%.

Analysts surveyed by

Thomson Reuters

expected Home Depot to report earnings of 38 cents a share.

Total sales in the quarter fell 6.2% to $17.8 billion.

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"The housing and home improvement markets remain challenging. Across our entire business, we are making the adjustments necessary to respond to a tough market environment," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO, in a statement Tuesday.

Home Depot said "given the continued softness in the housing and home improvement markets as well as negative macro economic conditions," fiscal-year sales could fall as much as 8%. Per-share earnings from continuing operations will decline by about 24%, consistent with previous guidance, Home Depot said.

Analysts expect fiscal-year earnings of $1.71 a share.

On Monday, Home Depot rival


(LOW) - Get Lowe's Companies Inc. Report

said its third-quarter earnings fell 24% from a year earlier as consumers delayed buying discretionary goods and bigger ticket items.

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