Home De­pot sees boost from storms

De­struc­tive hur­ri­canes in South­ern U.S. push up sales as home­own­ers re­build

The Hamilton Spectator - - COMMENT - CHARISSE JONES

The hur­ri­canes that rav­aged Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the re­build­ing ef­fort that has be­gun are buoy­ing the bot­tom line of Home De­pot.

The home-im­prove­ment chain said Tues­day that it saw a sales surge in the last quar­ter and ex­pects the uptick to con­tinue through the rest of the year as vic­tims of hur­ri­canes Har­vey and Irma re­con­struct their homes.

The need for build­ing sup­plies, from ply­wood and gen­er­a­tors to wiring and shut­ters, led to about $282 mil­lion in hur­ri­cane-re­lated sales at Home De­pot stores open at least a year, the com­pany re­ported Tues­day.

Storm-re­lated pur­chases con­trib­uted to over­all sales of $25 bil­lion dur­ing the third quar­ter — an 8.1 per cent bump as com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, and a 7.7 per cent in­crease at U.S. stores that had been open at least 12 months, a key in­dus­try mea­sure that takes change in the num­ber of stores out of the equa­tion.

The con­tin­ued re­cov­ery ef­fort in the wake of the hur­ri­canes, cou­pled with a strong econ­omy that is spurring Amer­i­cans to re­model or buy new homes, led the home im­prove­ment chain to in­crease its fi­nan­cial fore­cast for the year.

The com­pany now ex­pects sales to be up roughly 6.3 per cent, and di­luted earn­ings to leap roughly 14 per cent to $7.36 a share.

“We ex­pect to see ... sales con­tinue to in­crease,” Craig Me­n­ear, Home De­pot’s CEO said in an earn­ings call with in­vestors Tues­day.

The third quar­ter brought in $2.2 bil­lion in net earn­ings, or $1.84 per di­luted share, up from $2 bil­lion, or $1.60 per di­luted share dur­ing the com­pa­ra­ble pe­riod last year.

Earn­ings also beat the ex­pec­ta­tions of S&P Global an­a­lysts by two cents.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Home De­pot earned $2.17 bil­lion in the third quar­ter.

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