Home Depot Beats Expectations As Housing Market Improves

Home Depot Sales Growth is Strong

The U.S. housing market has continued to improve and that has helped Home Depot Inc. beat quarterly sales forecasts. The world’s largest DIY retailer watched it shares rise by 3.3 percent to a record $123.60 in morning trading. The company’s shares have trumped the market this year with a 17-percent gain.

“The pace of growth was always bound to moderate as we came out of the exceptionally bad winter … That the momentum has not slowed further is down to both a more confident consumer and greater activity in the housing market,” said Stephen Ward, director at retail research firm Conlumino.

According to the retailer, sales of appliances, tools, plumbing materials, and lighting products were strong in the quarter.

During a conference call Chief Executive Craig Menear said the company was experiencing strong growth despite a moderate 2015 U.S. GDP projection.

In July, U.S. housing starts rose to an eight-year high with builders focusing on single-family homes.

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Net income rose to $2.23 billion, or $1.73 per share, in the quarter ended August 2. Excluding items, the company earned $1.71 per share to meet industry, analysts.

The company incurred $153 million in gross expenses in the quarter caused by a data breach last year which allowed hackers to steal details from 56 million payment cards.

Net sales rose 4.3 percent to $24.83 billion, beating analysts’ estimate of $24.69 billion.

Same-store sales rose 4.2 percent, also ahead of estimates.

The company is predicting a profit of $5.31 to $5.36 per share for the year ending in January. That’s an increase over its original estimate of $5.24 to $5.27 per share.

The company is also in the middle of a $7.0 billion share buyback for 2015.

Home Depot expects sales to grow between 5.2 percent to 6.0 percent for sales ending in January.