Home Depot third-quarter sales beat amid U.S. housing recovery

Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:32am EST
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By Nandita Bose and Sruthi Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) - Home Depot Inc (HD.N: Quote) on Tuesday reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly sales at stores open at least a year and said full-year profit and same-store sales would be at the top end of its forecast.

Shares of the world's biggest home improvement retailer rose 3.4 percent to $125.07.

"Consensus U.S GDP growth projections have moderated (in 2015) but we continue to see positive signs in the housing data with home price appreciation and housing turnover being key drivers of growth for our business," Chief Executive Officer Craig Menear said on an earnings conference call.

The U.S. housing recovery has been gaining traction, with homebuilder sentiment hitting decade highs in July, August and September, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Builders' confidence rose to a near 10-year high in October, according to a survey released last month.

All of Home Depot's merchandising departments, including appliances, tools and plumbing, posted comparable-sales growth from a year ago. Categories like outdoor garden, electrical, millwork and lumber grew but were below the company average.

Same-store sales rose 5.1 percent in the third quarter ended Nov. 1, above the 4.6 percent rate expected by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.

Comparable sales at its U.S. stores were up 7.3 percent, comfortably ahead of analysts' average estimate of 5.9 percent, helped by strong demand from retail customers as well as professional contractors and builders.   Continued...

A Home Depot store is shown in the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami, Florida, September 18, 2015.  REUTERS/Joe Skipper