AP News

Earnings preview: Home Depot 3Q results


NEW YORK (AP) — Home Depot Inc., the nation's largest home-improvement retailer, reports third-quarter results before the market opens on Tuesday, and analysts will be watching for any commentary on how much Superstorm Sandy affected results and clues about the upcoming holiday season.

Analysts expect higher net income and revenue from the largest U.S. home-improvement retailer.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Superstorm Sandy was likely a boon for Home Depot, as people up and down the Eastern Seaboard stocked up on items like generators, flashlights, plywood and pumps before and after the storm. Although it occurred just after the end of the quarter, it should have some impact.

Meanwhile, as the holiday approaches, analysts will be looking for how consumer spending is holding up. Home Depot carries a large array of holiday decorations, including Christmas trees, lights and outdoor and indoor decorations.

The housing market is also showing signs of emerging from its prolonged slump, so any commentary the Atlanta company gives in that arena will be closely watched.

When the housing market is weak, companies such as Home Depot struggle because new construction slows and contractors don't spend as much on supplies. Homeowners also pull back on projects, such as kitchen or bathroom renovations.

Home Depot has cut costs and offered more products related to smaller projects since the downturn began.

WHY IT MATTERS: Strong sales would be a sign that consumers are willing and able to spend more.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts expect net income of 70 cents per share on revenue of $17.91 billion, for the quarter ended Oct. 28, according to FactSet. Analysts typically exclude one-time items.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Net income totaled 60 cents per share on revenue of $17.33 billion.


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