The Atlanta-based company said comparable store sales climbed 7.9 per cent, ahead of expectation of a 5.5 per cent gain. The strong results followed a cyber security breach last year in which hackers stole 53m email addresses and 56m payment card details.
“The 7.9 per cent comp indicates that the breach had a minimal effect on the company’s business during the quarter,” Alan Rifkin, an analyst at Barclays, said. “We continue to believe Home Depot remains most attractively positioned to benefit from the relatively improved housing market.”
Home Depot reported profits of $1.4bn or $1.05 a share, in the three months to February, compared with profits of $1bn or 73 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Sales climbed 8 per cent to $19.2bn.
Analysts on Wall Street had forecast earnings of 89 cents a share on sales of $18.7bn.
Home Depot’s 2015 earnings guidance in the range of $5.11-$5.17 a share was lower than Wall Street forecasts for $5.23 a share.
“Initial guidance from Home Depot is typically conservative,” Brian Nagel, an analyst at Oppenheimer, said. “We view the fiscal year 2015 figures that management outlined today as conducive to steady upside over the next several quarters.”
The company also reported a 26 per cent increase in its quarterly dividend to 59 cents a share and authorised an $18bn share buyback programme.
Home Depot shares, which have advanced 50 per cent in the past year, gained 4 per cent to $116.75.
Toll Brothers reported profits of $81.3m or 44 cents a share, on sales of $853.5m. Analysts on Wall Street had forecast earnings of 28 cents a share, on sales of $777.8m.
Toll Brothers said it delivered 1,091 homes in the three months to the end of January, up 18 per cent from a year ago. It also said the average price of homes climbed 13 per cent to $782,300.
Macy’s shares fell 3 per cent to $62.10, after the retailer issued 2015 guidance that disappointed markets. Macy’s expects earnings in the range of $4.70-$4.80 a share, shy of Wall Street forecasts for $4.84 a share.
Macy’s reported a fourth-quarter decline in profits to $793m, though profits topped forecasts, while sales climbed 1.8 per cent to $9.36bn, just shy of estimates.
“While we believe Macy’s is the winner in the mid-tier department store space, margin growth is slowing and sales growth is also decelerating,” Paul Lejuez, an analyst at Wells Fargo, said. “Without structural changes in the sector, we believe it will be tough for Macy’s to continue to boost sales, making profit growth difficult to achieve, and making it tougher for the stock to outperform.”
US stocks fluctuated at record levels after Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen delivered her testimony to the Senate Banking Committee.
The S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to 2,115.48, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.5 per cent to 18,209.19. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1 per cent to 4,968.12.
Get alerts on Home Depot Inc when a new story is published