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Path to Home Depot now well-worn as millions work remotely

The Associated Press
Path to Home Depot now well-worn as millions work remotely

WASHINGTON — Millions of people forced to work out of the office during the pandemic took on new projects at home and Home Depot is supplying a lot of the DIY material they need.

At Home Depot stores open at least a year, sales surged a remarkable 25 per cent in the U.S. during the second quarter, the Atlanta company reported recently.

Overall revenue hit $38.05 billion, far exceeding the $34.94 billion Wall Street was expecting, according to a Zacks Investment Research survey. The company easily topped last year’s revenue of $30.84 billion for the three months ended Aug. 2.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer’s health, climbed 23.4 per cent, globally, trailing only the massive surge in comparable-store sales in the U.S. The overall comparable-store sales were almost twice the 12.2 per cent increase that industry analysts had projected.

People have taken on DIY projects at a frenzied pace after being forced out of the office and after a pandemic-induced lull, demand for new houses is ramping up fast.

The Commerce Department reported that construction of new U.S. homes surged 22.6 per cent last month. The department said that new homes were started at an annual pace of nearly 1.5 million in July, the highest since February and well above what economists were expecting.

The National Association of Realtors said last month that its index of pending sales rose 16.6 per cent, to 116.1 in June, its highest level since 2006.

Home Depot Inc. earned $4.33 billion, or $4.02 per share, in the quarter, which was also far stronger than the per-share projections of $3.70 from analysts.

A year earlier it earned $3.48 billion, or $3.17 per share.

The company also declared a second-quarter dividend of $1.50 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 17 to shareholders of record on Sept. 3.

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