For the third quarter, The Home Depot today reported net earnings of $947 million, or 63 cents per diluted share, versus $934 million, or 60 cents per diluted share, in the fiscal 2011 period. On an adjusted basis, the retailer posted net earnings of $1.1 billion, or 74 cents per diluted share, it announced.
A Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S average analyst earnings estimate for the quarter was 70 cents per diluted share.
The third quarter 2012 results reflect a nonrecurring charge of $165 million, net of tax, or 11 cents per diluted share, to close seven stores in China, Home Depot stated.
Sales in the quarter increased by 4.6% year over year, to $18.1 billion. Comparable store sales gained 4.2%, and comps for stores in the United States increased 4.3% as compared to the 2011 period.
In a conference call, Frank Blake, Home Depot chairman and CEO, said the company’s strong third quarter performance was due in part to a “healing” in the housing market, noting that sales to construction professionals has been improving. Transactions per store and average ticket both grew in the quarter. Hurricane Sandy should represent a sales bump played out over several quarters and in about the same proportions as occurred with Hurricane Irene, he said.
The lighting, décor, kitchen, outdoor garden, indoor garden, lumber, paint, bath, electrical, hardware and flooring segments outperformed the store-wide comp, the company noted in the conference call.
“Our third-quarter results were better than we expected and reflected, in part, what we believe is the start of the path toward the healing of the housing market,” Blake said in comments on the quarterly results. “I particularly want to thank all of our associates who are helping the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy. They are working under difficult circumstances, often with their own lives and homes disrupted by the storm, and their efforts exemplify our core values.”