Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement store chain, reported better-than-expected earnings Tuesday as improving job and housing markets entice more Americans to spend on remodeling. The company kept its 2014 sales growth forecast of 4.8 percent, which would lift the retail industry’s overall sales.
Despite a massive cyber security breach between April and September that cost the company $34 million, Home Depot’s net income rose 12.3 percent to $1.54 billion or $1.54 a share in the third quarter ended Nov. 2 from the year-earlier period. Sales increased 5.4 percent to $20.52 billion.
"During the quarter we saw strong performance across all geographies led by growth in transactions and continued strength in the core of the store," said Craig Menear, CEO and president, in a statement.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of $20.47 bilion or $1.13 a share. The retail sector overall, excluding cars, reported 3.7 percent sales growth in October, with many like department stores struggling to maintain store traffic. Building material sales grew 5.1 percent over the same time period. Employment gains over the period fueled pent-up demand for home repairs and upgrades.
Although its full-year guidance remains unchanged, Home Depot warned that the cyber attack’s costs are not final. The company faces at least 44 civil lawsuits related to the breach, in which hackers stole details of about 56 million credit and debit cards and 53 million email addresses.