Home Depot Net Climbs 17.2 Percent in Q2

Home DeportATLANTA-In a second quarter that topped the company’s expectations, The Home Depot posted net income of $1.8 billion, 17.2 percent ahead of the second quarter of last year.

A solid sales gain in the quarter, which ended on Aug. 4, helped the home-improvement giant to firm its bottom line. Net sales rose 9.5 percent to $22.5 billion, which included a same-store sales increase of 10.7 percent. Frank Blake, Home Depot’s chairman and CEO, attributed the top-line improvement to a rebound in seasonal categories, strength in sales of core items and the rebound of housing in the United States.

Gross margin picked up 12 basis points to finish at 34.3 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 5.6 percent in dollars but shed 70 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 19.1 percent.

Based on these results, Home Depot said it now expects fiscal 2013 to end with a total sales increase of 4.5 percent, including a gain of 6 percent in same-store sales. Diluted earnings per share should rise by about 20 percent, the retailer said.