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%. In the U.S., the metric increased. 7.6%.
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% 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%, up from 3.69% the previous week. The last time the 30-year rate was higher was in May of 2019 when it reached 3.99%.
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% in its quarterly dividend, to $1.90 per share.
Shares rose slightly before the market open on Tuesday.