Home Depot profit beats as hurricanes spur demand

The logo of Down Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Home Depot is seen in Encinitas, California
The logo of Down Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Home Depot is seen in Encinitas, California  

(Reuters) - Home Depot Inc (HD.N), the largest U.S. home improvement chain, beat analysts' quarterly profit and sales estimates, as hurricanes Harvey and Irma boosted demand for emergency products and rebuilding materials.

The Dow component's shares, already up 23 percent this year, were about 1 percent higher in premarket trading on Tuesday.

Home improvement retailers benefit from the sale of emergency storm-related merchandise such as generators, batteries and flashlights during hurricanes as well as from demand for rebuilding materials in the aftermath.

Home Depot, which again raised its full-year forecasts, said hurricane-related sales added about $282 million to comparable sales in the third quarter.

Sales at home improvement retailers have also been boosted by the multi-year recovery in the U.S. housing market, which has been supported by steadily rising wages and low unemployment rates.

Sales at Home Depot's stores open for more than a year rose 7.9 percent, above the average analyst estimate of 5.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Comparable sales at U.S. stores increased 7.7 percent, beating the average analyst estimate of 6 percent.

Home Depot's net income rose to $2.17 billion, or $1.84 per share, in the third quarter ended Oct. 29, from $1.97 billion, or $1.60 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales rose 8 percent to $25.03 billion, helped by a 5 percent jump in average ticket and as customer transactions rose 2.5 percent.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.82 per share and revenue of $24.55 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Home Depot raised its forecasts for the year ending January 2018, citing strength in the housing market and projected hurricane-recovery sales. The company said it now expects sales to grow 6.3 percent and comparable sales increase of 6.5 percent.

The company had previously forecast sales growth of 5.3 percent and comparable sales to increase 5.5 percent.

Home Depot also raised its profit forecast for the third time this year, raising it to $7.36 per share from its previous forecast of $7.29.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)


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