Quarterly profit and sales shot higher at the largest U.S. home improvement chain as customers stocked up on emergency products and rebuilding materials. Fred Katayama reports.
Hurricanes boosting business at Home Depot. Quarterly profit at the largest U.S. home improvement chain shot up 10 percent, as sales at existing stores increased nearly 8 percent. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma drove customers to stock up on emergency products like generators and batteries and rebuilding materials for the aftermath. Home Depot said the hurricanes added about $282 million to the quarter's comparable store sales. Also boosting sales: the recovery in the U.S. housing market as wages rise and unemployment remains low. Moody's vice president Bill Fahy said, "Home Depot's recent comparable store sales performance and improved sales and earnings guidance are a good indicator that the home improvement sector continues to paint a better outlook as it sidesteps broader retail woes." Backed by the strength in the housing market and expected sales from the hurricane recovery, Home Depot raised its profit forecast for the third time this year. Its shares have risen 23 percent year-to-date.