Home Depot profit jumps 17% amid housing recovery

The housing recovery and improving economy led Home Depot Inc., the nation's largest home improvement retailer, to post better-than-expected second-quarter earnings that jumped 17% over the same period last year.

The Atlanta company reported Tuesday that sales were $22.5 billion, up 9.5% over last year, in the quarter that ended Aug. 4.

Home Depot posted a profit of $1.8 billion, or $1.24 a share, up from $1.53 billion, or $1.01.

"The second-quarter results exceeded our expectations as our business benefited from a rebound in our seasonal categories, continued strength in the core of the store and the recovering housing market in the U.S.," Home Depot Chief Executive Frank Blake said.

Consumers, again buying big-ticket items, spent more money per transaction during the second quarter, the company said. The average purchase amount rose 4.3% to $57.39.

The company also raised its earnings guidance for the rest of the year as a result of the strong second quarter. It now expects earnings per share to rise 20% to $3.60.

The home improvement retailer's sales have been bolstered as housing starts tick up this year. The housing recovery has also spurred demand for durable goods such as refrigerators, stove tops, washers and dryers.

Home Depot shares closed down 92 cents, or 1.2%, at $74.29 on Tuesday. Earlier in the day the shares hit a high of $77.50.


Twitter: @rljourno

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