FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2017, file photo, store greeter Danny Olivar, right, lends a hand to a customer to heft an air conditioning unit from a rapidly declining stock at a Home Depot store ahead of an expected heat wave in Seattle. The Home Depot Inc. reports earnings Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Home Depot roars back in the second quarter

August 14, 2018 - 7:02 am

ATLANTA (AP) — Home Depot handily beat expectations during the second quarter, bouncing back from a slow start to the year when terrible weather cooled construction projects. The world's biggest home improvement retailer boosted its full-year profit and revenue forecasts Tuesday.

Higher mortgage rates combined with steadily rising real estate prices have dampened home sales this summer despite the robust economy and job market, but Americans continue to plow money into the places where they live.

The Atlanta company's second-quarter profit hit $3.51 billion, or $3.05 per share. That a much bigger per-share profit than the $2.84 that Wall Street was looking for, according to analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose to $30.46 billion, from $28.11 billion, also topping projections of $29.98 billion on Wall Street.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer's performance, surged 8 percent, and 8.1 percent in the U.S.

Home Depot suffered a rare subpar performance when it reported first-quarter earnings in May. A cold spring chilled sales of fertilizer, live plants and gardening goods. It's been a different story for the three-month period that ended July 29, with temperatures heating up along with the job market.

The weather and falling unemployment, near a five-decade low, has led to increased home-improvement spending.

Home Depot now foresees 2018 earnings-per-share growth of about 29.2 percent, from last year's $9.42 per share. The company expects revenue to rise about 7 percent, with same-store sales to increase about 5.3 percent.

The Home Depot Inc. last predicted 2018 earnings-per-share growth of about 28 percent, an increase in revenue of about 6.7 percent, and same-store sales growth of about 5 percent.

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Elements of this story were 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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