Home Depot grows sales and income in Q3

The world's largest home improvement retailer rolled out its fourth straight quarter of positive comp-store sales. The Atlanta-based company also increased net earnings to $834 million, up 21% from $689 million in the same quarter last year.

"Our third-quarter sales reflect the fourth consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales for our business," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO. "As the business stabilizes, we continue to improve our operational performance. We are exercising good control over our expenses, but we're also investing in the business to drive improvements across customer service, merchandising and our supply chain. I want to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication."

Sales for the third quarter totaled $16.6 billion, a 1.4% increase from the third quarter of fiscal 2009. Comparable-store sales for the third quarter were positive 1.4%, and comp-sales for U.S. stores were positive 1.5%.

The company's earnings report follows by one day that of Lowe's, which posted a third-quarter sales increase of 1.9% and a comp-store gain of 0.2%.

Home Depot lowered its sales expectations. Based on its year-to-date performance and expectations for the remainder of the fiscal year, the company now expects sales to be up approximately 2.2% for the year, instead of the 2.6% gain it had expected previously.

At the end of the third quarter, the company operated a total of 2,244 retail stores, which included 1,976 Home Depot stores in the United States.

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