Home Depot Sales Remain Strong in Fourth Quarter

Home Depot Sales Remain Strong in Fourth Quarter
The Home Depot improvement store in Niles, Ill. on Feb. 19, 2022. (Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo)
The Associated Press

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

Sales for the three months ended Jan. 30 rose to $35.72 billion from $32.26 billion. This beat the $34.88 billion that analysts polled by FactSet forecast.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer’s health, climbed 8.1 percent. In the U.S., the metric increased. 7.6 percent.

Home improvement stores have been busy during the pandemic as people working from home took on new projects. Many 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 eager to avoid higher mortgage rates snapped up properties, leaving the number of available houses on the market at a record low.

Existing home sales rose 6.7 percent 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 sales that economists had been expecting, according to FactSet.

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

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

Wall Street expected $3.18 per share.

Looking ahead, the company anticipates fiscal 2022 sales growth and same-store sales growth to be slightly positive. It predicts low single digits earnings per share growth.

Home Depot also said its board approved an increase of 15 percent in its quarterly dividend, to $1.90 per share.

Shares rose slightly before the market open on Tuesday.

By Michelle Chapman