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Home Depot Profit Up 17%; Sales Jump

November 16, 2005|From Reuters

Home Depot Inc. reported Tuesday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 17% as it cut costs and expanded its installation business.

The retailer lifted its per-share profit forecast for the full year.

Net income was $1.5 billion, or 72 cents a share, for the period ended Oct. 30, compared with $1.3 billion, or 60 cents, a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected profit of 68 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales rose 11% to $20.7 billion. Sales at stores open at least a year, a key measure of retail health, were up 3.6%. Home Depot said growth was strong in installations, especially for kitchens, windows and roofing.

The size of the company's average sale rose 6% to $58.92. The company also said its share of the appliance market grew.

Hurricanes drove demand for supplies on the Gulf Coast and in Florida, and Home Depot said its contractor businesses were poised to benefit from the rebuilding.

The company said self-checkout registers, automation of certain tasks and other technology upgrades were cutting costs and enabling it to assign more staff to help customers.

Home Depot's growth in sales and earnings lagged behind that of rival Lowe's Cos., which Monday said its profit rose 26% as sales gained 17%.

Home Depot said it now expected full-year per-share profit to increase 17% to 18%, compared with its previous prediction of 14% to 17%. It lifted its sales growth forecast for the year to 10% to 12% from 9% to 12%.

The retailer's stock fell 17 cents to $42.40.

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