Home Depot Inc.’s HD -0.42% results were better than expected in the latest quarter, a sign that the home-improvement retailer could be avoiding the worst effects of the supply-chain snarls reverberating across the economy.
At stores that have been open for at least a year, sales grew by 6.1% in July through October, including by 5.5% at stores in the U.S. That trend built upon strong growth a year earlier, when the pandemic began driving people to invest more in their homes. Home Depot’s total sales in the quarter of $36.82 billion were up by 9.8% year over year, and were more than a third higher than in the same stretch of 2019, before Covid-19 emerged.
Chief Executive Craig Menear said the company has been able to operate with "flexibility and agility" as it works to meet heightened demand.
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As retailers struggle to find workers and move goods through world-wide logistics networks, many have had to think fast to ensure shelves remain well-stocked. Home Depot is among the major U.S. retailers that have chartered their own container ships in recent months to move goods from overseas.
Though sales grew year over year in the latest quarter, Home Depot’s pace of growth has slowed since earlier in the pandemic. Between April 2020 and April 2021 it recorded four straight quarters of double-digit same-store sales growth. As people spent more time at home—and as bank accounts swelled with government stimulus checks—consumers’ appetite for home-improvement projects strengthened.
Home Depot’s sales growth boosted its bottom line, pushing profits higher. The company logged quarterly earnings of $4.13 billion, or $3.92 a share, compared with $3.43 billion, or $3.18 a share, in 2020’s third quarter.
Wall Street analysts polled by FactSet had forecast earnings of $3.35 a share, and sales of $34.95 billion.