Home Depot looks ‘solid’ in third quarter

Home Depot reaped the benefits of continuing improvement in the housing market with third quarter sales of $19.5 billion, a 7.4% increase from $18.1 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2012.

On a like-for-like basis (last year's quarter had an extra calendar week), comparable-store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 were positive 7.4%, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 8.2%.

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

Net earnings for the third quarter were $1.35 billion, compared with net earnings of $947 million in the same period of fiscal 2012. Last year's quarter included a nonrecurring charge of approximately $165 million due to the closing of seven stores in China.

The "solid" quarter brought improved guidance. The company raised its fiscal 2013 sales guidance to 5.6%. Comparable-store sales, on a 52-week like-for-like basis, are expected to be up approximately 7.0% for the year.

At the end of the third quarter, the company operated a total of 2,260 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.