Home Depot profit, revenue beat estimates
The home improvement chain also raises its full-year outlook for the third time in 6 months and increases its dividend.
The home improvement retailer benefited in the quarter as residents along the East Coast bought generators and other supplies for ahead of Hurricane Irene in late August.
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The company had two more pieces of good news for investors. It raised its quarterly dividend by 16% to 29 cents a share, and it upped its full-year outlook for the third time in six months.
The company outperformed rival Lowe's (LOW), which reported a 44% drop in profit Monday even though it also beat analyst expectations. Lowe's saw same-store sales rise 0.7% in the quarter, but Home Depot saw a 4.2% increase in that key retail metric.
Home Depot said its profit increased to $934 million, or 60 cents a share, for the quarter, from $834 million, or 51 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Wall Street was looking for 58 to 59 cents a share.
Revenue jumped 4.4% to $17.3 billion, more than the $17.1 billion analysts had expected.
The company also upped its estimates for the full year to $2.38 a share in profit. Previously, it had expected $2.35 a share. Sales are estimated to rise 2.5% for the year.
The performance was all the more impressive, considering that consumers have pulled back on spending, putting off major home improvement projects. The housing market is still weak in many parts of the country, and home prices remain low.
Analysts seem to favor Home Depot over its smaller rival heading into the new year. "There is still room for Home Depot to outperform relative to Lowe's heading into 2012," said Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom, according to Reuters. "What Lowe's needs to do is take a hard look at their merchandising, their supply chain, their operations in order to flip that back into their favor."
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The company is scrambling to protect its equities arm, which could face declining volume and revenue as competitors close the gap.
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