ATLANTA and NEW YORK (AP) — The Home Depot posted record sales and earnings during its second quarter and raised its profit expectations for the year as the U.S. housing market continues to warm up.
The Atlanta home improvement retailer sailed through a downturn in the retail sector this year as a whole, with more Americans funneling money into the homes they own, or putting personal touches on new ones.
The company reported sales of $26.5 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2016, a 6.6 percent increase from the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Comparable store sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 were positive 4.7 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 5.4 percent.
Net earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 were $2.4 billion, or $1.97 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of$2.2 billion, or $1.73 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2015. For the second quarter of fiscal 2016, diluted earnings per share increased 13.9 percent from the same period in the prior year.
“We had a solid quarter, achieving the highest quarterly sales and net earnings results in company history as housing continues to be a tailwind for our business,” said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president. “This was made possible by our hard working associates in their continued dedication to our customers.”
The U.S. reported that new home construction jumped 4.8 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million. That was the highest since February, when an unseasonably mild winter pulled builders out of hibernation early.
That trend appears to be continuing. This week, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) with Wells Fargo released its builder sentiment index, showing that optimism among homebuilders is on the rise. Builder sentiment rose two points to 60 following a downwardly revised reading of 58 in July. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has mostly held at 58 this year since rising to 61 in January. Builders’ view of current sales and their outlook for sales over the next six months improved this month, while a gauge of traffic by prospective buyers declined slightly.
Same-store sales jumped 4.7 percent, in line with expectations.
The company boosted its full-year profit outlook to $6.31 per share from a previous per-share projection of $6.27.
Shares of The Home Depot Inc. up almost 4 percent this year, edged higher before the opening bell Tuesday.
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