Comparable store sales at the U.S.' largest home improvement retailer shot up nearly 9 percent in the latest quarter. Fred Katayama reports.
Warm weather and the recovery in the housing market spruced up quarterly results at Home Depot. Comparable store sales at the U.S.' largest home improvement chain shot up nearly 9 percent even after a similar rise last year. That helped boost net income. And it'll give some of that back to shareholders with a higher dividend. RBC Capital Markets analyst Scot Ciccarelli pointed to data such as home prices and housing inventory, saying, "Most of the major macro factors ... should continue to fuel solid sales growth for Home Depot for the foreseeable future." The company sees same-store sales growing by up to 6 percent this fiscal year ending January. But Ciccarelli notes that Home Depot tends to put out conservative estimates, especially at the beginning of the year. Home Depot shares, down more than 10 percent from their peak in late November, bounced higher in early trading. The chain once again bucked the trend of weak sales that has plagued other retailers in the holiday quarter.