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Menear recounts Depot’s top sellers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

What categories did well at Home Depot in the third quarter? Take your pick.

All merchandise departments posted positive comps, Craig Menear told analysts during yesterday’s earnings call. Even those that fell below the company average — millwork, flooring, pluming, outdoor garden, building materials, hardware and tools — still performed positively. 

"Strength in the core of the store, the continued resurgence of our pro customers and mild temperatures helped us overcome difficult comparisons cycling last year’s storm-related sales," Menear said.

Receiving special mention for third-quarter performance was the company’s enhanced appliance showroom plan, a reset that began last year and is yielding double-digit growth for appliances both in-store and online. The plan involves localized assortments in 400 stores that showcase an expanded assortment.

Home Depot executives were happy to report gains with pro customers. Menear pointed to double-digit comps in the following categories: gypsum, concrete, pressure treated lumber and mouldings.

Total transactions in the quarter grew by 4%, he said. Average ticket increased 3.2% 

The numbers also show customers digging deeper into their pockets. Transactions for tickets over $900 were up 10.3% in the quarter. That growth was credited to strength in pro sales, appliances, HVAC, countertops and in-stock kitchens, Menear said.

Across the store in the third quarter, the following categories were selling at above-average pace: kitchens, lighting, decor, lumber, electrical, indoor garden, paint and bath.

In the fourth quarter, Home Depot has high expectations for its Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector, Menear said. The stores will also promote the Kevo BlueTooth Deadbolt from Kwikset and True White LED bulbs from Cree.

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Net earnings surge at Lowe’s in Q3

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s reported a solid third quarter, with sizable gains in earnings and sales.

The company’s net earnings increased 26.0% to $499 million. Sales for the quarter jumped 7.3% to $13.0 billion, up from $12.1 billion in the year ago quarter. Comparable sales for the quarter increased 6.2%. 

"This balanced performance resulted from our improved collaboration and execution within a strengthening home improvement market, combined with our employees’ hard work and continued dedication to serving customers," said Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO. 

"The home improvement industry is poised for persisting growth in the fourth quarter and further acceleration in 2014," Niblock added.

Lowe’s sales gains followed by one day the third-quarter report from rival Home Depot, which reported sales gains of 7.4%

The company said it expects to open nine stores in fiscal year 2013, a year in which it expects comparable-store sales to increase about 5%.

Despite the solid numbers posted by Lowe’s, shares of the company dropped on Wall Street over its slightly lower-than-expected earnings per share numbers. 

At the end of the quarter, Lowe’s operated 1,831 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 200.1 million sq. ft. of retail selling space.

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HCN Stock Watch: LL in flux

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lumber Liquidators (LL) continued its recent flip-flop with a downward turn of 2.44% just on the heels of its new high of $119.44 on Friday.

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