Atlanta - Tight cost controls helped The Home Depot drive strong profits on slow sales growth during the third quarter.
Net earnings rose 21 percent to $834 million for the three months, ended Oct. 31, while net sales rose 1.4 percent to $16.6 billion and comp-store sales rose 1.5 percent in the U.S.
The sales gains, though slim, represent the fourth consecutive quarter of positive comps for the No. 1 home-improvement chain following three years of declines.
In a statement, chairman/CEO Frank Blake said business is stabilizing and the company is implementing good expense controls while investing in customer service, merchandising and the supply chain.
Looking ahead, Home Depot raised its full-year earnings forecast but lowered its projected sales growth from 2.4 percent to 2.2 percent.