Home Depot Inc.'s third-quarter profit fell 31%, less than analysts estimated, after it slashed corporate expenses and closed stores.
Net income for the three months that ended Nov. 2 decreased 31% to $756 million, or 45 cents a share, from $1.09 billion, or 60 cents, a year earlier, Atlanta-based Home Depot said. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated an average of 38 cents a share. Sales retreated 6.2% to $17.8 billion, beating the $17.6-billion average estimate.
Sales for the year that ends Feb. 1 may decline more than the 5% Home Depot had forecast, the company said. The retailer reaffirmed its projection that earnings per share would drop 24% excluding some costs.
In the third quarter, sales in stores open at least a year -- a key measure of retail health -- dropped 8.3%.