Statements of cash flow for Home Depot, Inc. , for 2012, 2011, and 2010 are included in Appendix A of this text.
a. Focus on the information for 2012 (year ending February 3, 2013). 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 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 February 3, 2013? Why or why not?
d. Calculate the amount of free cash flow for each of 2010, 2011, and 2012, and comment briefly on your conclusion concerning this information.