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Home Depot’s Q3 Sales, Earnings Rise

Atlanta Continued improvements in the housing market and Home Depot’s own operational performance led to strong third-quarter sales and earnings gains for the No. 1 home improvement chain.

Profits rose 48 percent to $1.4 billion and net sales increased 7.4 percent to $19.5 billion for the three months ended Nov. 3, while comp sales also grew 7.4 percent companywide and increased 8.2 percent in the U.S.

During the quarter the number of customer transactions rose 4 percent to 344.3 million, average ticket edged up 3.2 percent to $56.27 and average weekly sales per store increased 7 percent to $659,000.

“Our third quarter results reflect the continuing improvement in the housing market and our solid operational performance,” said Frank Blake, chairman/CEO.

In a research note, Janney Montgomery Scott analyst David Strasser said major appliances continued their strong performance during the quarter as the company expanded its assortment across its store base and garnered market share from Sears.

Home Depot’s share price rose 2 percent in early trading as earnings exceeded Wall Street estimates and the chain raised its outlook for the balance of the year. In a separate research note, Credit Suisse retail analyst Gary Balter lauded the company for what he termed “another very strong quarter” fueled by the U.S. housing recovery, strong execution, internal initiatives and share gains from weaker competitors like Sears.