The home improvement chain's rising quarterly profit and same-store sales topped estimates. As Fred Katayama reports, that's a sharp contrast to the performance of department stores.
Home Depot bucking the retail trend. Quarterly profit rose nearly 12 percent and handily beat analysts' estimates. Unlike department stores like Macy's and Kohl's, Home Depot's same-store sales grew briskly and also surpassed Wall Street's targets. Customers snapped up appliances, lumber and flooring materials. Driving those results: Increased customer traffic and higher spending amid a strong housing market. A firming economy and higher wages are boosting sales of new homes. Wedbush Securities analyst Seth Basham said, "Earnings were driven by a strong continuation of the trend we see - broad-based strength in categories and regions. The company is taking impressive market share." Home Depot is eluding the retail wreck. Department stores, by contrast, have been hit hard by growing competition from online and off-price retailers and soft demand for apparel. Home Depot shares, already up 17 percent this year, added to those gains at the start of trading. Archrival Lowe's reports its results next week.