Strong Home Depot sales in the fourth quarter | News, Sports, Jobs

Home Depot saw sales remain strong in the fourth quarter as it continues to benefit from a buoyant housing market.

Sales for the three months ended Jan. 30 increased from $32.26 billion to $35.72 billion. That topped the $34.88 billion forecast by analysts polled by FactSet.

Sales at stores open for at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer’s health, climbed 8.1%. In the United States, the metric has increased. 7.6%.

Home improvement stores have been busy during the pandemic as people working from home have taken on new projects. Many have also moved into new homes with more space for a home office.

Sales of previously occupied homes rose in January as a surge in buyers with cash and others keen to avoid higher mortgage rates took hold of properties, leaving the number of homes available on the market at an all-time high.

Sales of existing homes rose 6.7% last month from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.5 million, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. That’s more than the roughly 6.08 million in sales economists expected, according to FactSet.

A day earlier, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported that the average rate on a 30-year loan had risen to 3.92% from 3.69% the previous week. The last time the 30-year rate was higher was in May 2019, when it hit 3.99%.

Home Depot Inc. earned $3.35 billion, or $3.21 per share, in the fourth quarter. A year ago, he earned $2.86 billion, or $2.65 per share.

Wall Street expected $3.18 per share.

Looking forward, the company expects fiscal 2022 sales growth and same-store sales growth to be marginally positive. He predicts low-single-digit growth in earnings per share.

The Home Depot also said its board approved a 15% increase in its quarterly dividend to $1.90 per share.

Shares edged higher ahead of Tuesday’s market open.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press.

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