Home Depot sales explode as millions working from home take on improvement projects

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Home Depot’s fiscal second-quarter sales surged to easily top Wall Street’s expectations as consumers continued working on home projects and gardening amid the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

With millions of people staring at their walls while working from home, sales at Home Depot surged in the second quarter, with same-stores sales in the U.S. spiking 25%.

Overall revenue for the Atlanta company hit $38.05 billion, far exceeding the $34.94 billion Wall Street was expecting, according to a Zacks Investment Research survey. It easily topped last year’s revenue of $30.84 billion for the three months ended Aug. 2.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer’s health, climbed 23.4%, globally, trailing only the massive surge in comparable-store sales in the U.S. The overall comparable-store sales were almost twice the 12.2% increase that industry analysts had projected.

People have taken on DIY projects at a frenzied pace as they spend most days at home. And after a pause, Americans have begun to look again at new homes, some to accommodate their new working conditions.

The National Association of Realtors said last month that its index of pending sales rose 16.6%, to 116.1 in June, its highest level since 2006. New homes also rose a sharp 13.8% in June.

Home Depot Inc. earned $4.33 billion, or $4.02 per share, in the quarter, which was also far stronger than the per-share projections of $3.70 from analysts.

A year earlier it earned $3.48 billion, or $3.17 per share.

The company also declared a second-quarter dividend of $1.50 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 17 to shareholders of record on Sept. 3.

Shares rose 2.6% in Tuesday premarket trading.

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