Home Depot Drives Storm Sales to 12 Percent Net Gain

       

       

ATLANTA—Bad weather helped The Home Depot to a good bottom line in its fiscal third quarter, which ended on Oct. 30.

Net income rose 12 percent to $934 million, on a net-sales increase of 4.4 percent to $17.3 billion, a gain that included a same-store sales pickup of 4.2 percent. Frank Blake, chairman and CEO of Home Depot, cited storm-related sales (along with strength in core categories) as one driver to the home-improvement retailer’s performance. During the third quarter, the nation was hammered by Hurricane Irene, tropical storm storms and tornadoes, and an early snowfall just before Halloween in the Northeast—all of which undoubtedly boosted sales of emergency home products.

The sales increase helped propel gross margin upward by 15 basis points to 34.4 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 3.1 percent in dollars but shed 29 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 22.8 percent.

Based on the third quarter, Home Depot said sales for the fiscal year as a whole will rise by about 2.5 percent.