Home Depot tops 3Q expectations again, but sticks by outlook

ATLANTA (AP) — Home Depot easily topped expectations for both profit and revenue in the third quarter, but investors were spooked after the company stuck by projections it put out earlier this year.

Shares of The Home Depot Inc. rose 1.2% in morning trading.

Profit rose 5.1% to $4.34 billion in the quarter, or $4.24 per share. That far exceeds the per-share projections of $4.11 on Wall Street, according to a survey of industry analysts by Zacks Investment Research.

Quarterly revenue for the Atlanta company rose 5.6% to $38.87 billion, also exceeding forecasts.

While the number of customer transactions dropped 4.3% in the quarter, shoppers were spending more, likely due to higher prices. The average ticket totaled $89.67, up from $82.38 in the year-ago period.

However, for the year, the home improvement retailer affirmed its expectations that sales would grow about 3%, which is weaker than most analysts have projected. It expects per-share growth in the mid-single digits percentage range.

Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData said the quarterly numbers are impressive given that the company has had two years of very strong growth. But he said that Home Depot is “not immune to a tightening economy.”

“We believe that various headwinds will continue to gather pace, and this will buffet Home Depot’s results,” Saunders wrote. “However, this will be more about taking the edge off the growth numbers rather than causing sales to shrink.”

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A portion of this story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on HD at https://www.zacks.com/ap/HD

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