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AZEK Building Products launches AZEK University

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Scranton, Pa.-based AZEK Building Products today announced the launch of AZEK University, a training program designed for distributors, dealers, architects and contractors.

Conducted in the training facility in Scranton, the two-day program consists of product knowledge sessions, workshops, plant tours and relationship building — all designed to help AZEK partners sell the product lines, including trim, moldings, deck, porch and rail.

“The new training sessions are packed with valuable information that can help AZEK business partners build their AZEK trim, decking and railing businesses and educate their customers,” said Kristen Nicholas, manager of channel marketing. “We also build in some fun. There are mini deck building contests and competitions to keep everyone pumped up.”

AZEK University is open to distributors, pro lumber dealers, contractors, architects and builders.

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Deere posts strong Q3

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. has reported third-quarter net income of $617.0 million, up 47% from $420.0 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales increased 16% to $6.837 billion for the third quarter ended July 31. Net sales of the equipment operations were $6.224 billion for the quarter, up 18% compared with $5.283 billion in the third quarter of 2009.

“While we have benefited from positive conditions in the U.S. farm sector, particularly in terms of demand for large equipment, European markets are down sharply,” said Samuel Allen, chairman and CEO. “Demand for construction and forestry equipment is improved from last year but still remains far below normal levels. Nevertheless, the company has continued to extend its competitive position as a result of our focus on serving customers with advanced new products, while keeping a tight rein on costs and assets.”

For the first nine months, net income totaled $1.408 billion, up 28% from $1.096 billion last year. Net sales for the nine-month period were up 6% to $18.803 billion. Net sales of the equipment operations for this period were $17.009 billion, up 6% from $16.030 billion in the corresponding period last year.

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HD profits gaining speed in Q2

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Atlanta-based Home Depot reported second-quarter net income of $1.2 billion, up 6.8% from $1.1 billion last year.

Sales for the quarter ended Aug. 2 were $19.4 billion, up 1.8% from $19.1 billion last year.

Comparable-store sales for the quarter were up 1.7% and were up 1% in the United States.

“Our second-quarter sales reflect the third consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales. We delivered solid results as we continue to build momentum with our merchandising transformation, supply chain enhancements and customer service initiatives,” said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO. “I want to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication, and I am proud to announce 97% of our stores qualified for success sharing, our bonus plan for hourly associates, for the first half of fiscal 2010.”

Based on its second-quarter earnings, the company updated its full-year guidance and now expects sales to be up approximately 2.6% for the year. The company also expects diluted earnings per share from continuing operations as reported to increase by approximately 22.6%.

At the end of the second quarter, the company operated a total of 2,244 retail stores, which included 1,976 Home Depot stores in the United States and employs more than 300,000 employees worldwide.

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