Home Depot net income hits $1.2bn
New York, May 22, 2013
Home Depot has reported higher-than-expected quarterly results and raised its sales and profit outlook for the year as the world's largest home improvement chain benefited from a nascent recovery in the US housing market.
The news pushed the retailer's shares up as much as 3.4 per cent to an all-time high and gave fresh evidence that the US housing market was improving after years of weakness.
Net income in the first quarter rose to $1.2 billion, or 83 cents a share, from $1 billion, or 68 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had forecast a profit of 77 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For the first time since 2008, sales to contractors and professional customers grew at a faster pace than those to regular homeowners and other shoppers, chief executive Frank Blake said.
"This quarter's outperformance from the pro segment is a positive sign" of a housing recovery, Blake said.
A bubble in the US housing market was at the core of the 2007-2009 financial crisis. During the downturn, Home Depot's sales at established stores fell more than 20 per cent in such markets as Florida and California.
In recent quarters, the company has gotten a boost as housing markets have rebounded in regions where it has a heavy presence.-Reuters