Home Depot sales up 7.4%
The Home Depot reported sales of $19.5 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, a 7.4% increase from $18.1 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2012.
On a like-for-like basis (last year’s quarter had an extra calendar week), comparable-store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 were positive 7.4%, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 8.2%.
"Our third-quarter results reflect the continuing improvement in the housing market and our solid operational performance,” said Frank Blake, chairman & CEO
Net earnings for the third quarter were $1.35 billion, compared with net earnings of $947 million in the same period of fiscal 2012. Last year’s quarter included a nonrecurring charge of approximately $165 million due to the closing of seven stores in China.
The "solid" quarter brought improved guidance. The company raised its fiscal 2013 sales guidance to 5.6%. Comparable-store sales, on a 52-week like-for-like basis, are expected to be up approximately 7.0% for the year.
At the end of the third quarter, the company operated a total of 2,260 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.
Home builder confidence hits four-month low in November
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index remained static at 54 for November, compared with a downwardly revised October reading of the same level.
“Given the current interest rate and pricing environment, consumers continue to show interest in purchasing new homes, but are holding back because Congress keeps pushing critical decisions on budget, tax and government spending issues down the road,” said NAHB chairman Rick Judson. “Meanwhile, builders continue to face challenges related to rising construction costs and low appraisals.”
Meanwhile, the HMI Index regarding current sales conditions was slightly higher (though also static) at 58. Future sales expectations fell one point to 60, and the index for prospective buyer traffic was also down one point to 42.
Regionally, confidence in the Northeast was up one point, down three points in the Midwest, and unchanged in the South and West.
The Housing Market Index is a gauge of builder perceptions regarding single-family home sales, as well as expectations therein for the next six months. Readings above 50 on the scale indicate that a majority of respondents view market conditions as favorable.