Statements of cash flow for Home Depot, Inc., for 2009, 2008, and 2007 are included in Appendix A of this text.
a. Focus on the information for 2009 (year ending January 31, 2010). How does net earnings compare with net cash provided by or used in operations, and what accounts for the primary difference between the two amounts?
b. What are the major uses of cash, other than operations, and how have these varied over the three-year period presented?
c. Cash flows from both investing and financing activities have been mostly negative for all three years presented. Considering Home Depot’s overall cash flows, including its cash flows from operations, would you say that this leads to a negative interpretation of Home Depot’s cash position at January 31, 2010? Why or why not?
d. Calculate the amount of free cash flow for each of 2007, 2008, and 2009, and comment briefly on your conclusion concerning this information.