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Home Depot cashes in on housing recovery

February 26, 2013: 2:25 PM ET


Home Depot's stock rallied Tuesday, after the home improvement retailer reported strong results, boosted its dividend and announced plans to buy back shares.

Shares of Home Depot (HD) gained 5.6% in afternoon trading.

The nation's leading do-it-yourself home improvement retailer said sales rose 14% in the fourth quarter to $18.2 billion. That helped Home Depot report net earnings of $1 billion, or 68 cents per share, for the quarter.

On top of that, Home Depot's board raised its dividend payment 34% to 39 cents per share, and announced plans to buy back $17 billion of its own stock.

Related: Housing recovery gains strength

Home Depot CEO Frank Blake said the company benefited from "a continued recovery in the housing market," as well as a boost to sales and repairs in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Investors on StockTwits were particularly impressed with Home Depot's same store sales growth, a measure of sales at stores open at least one year. That figure was up 7% in the fourth quarter.

retail_guru
Sure Sandy helped but how impressive is it that a company with $75bn in sales grows comp 7%+!! $HD $LOW$WMT

The latest data on home prices and sales has also underscores the strength of the housing market.

The S&P Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major markets showed an annualized increase of 7.3% in the fourth quarter.  Separately, the number of new home sold in January jumped more than 15% from the month before, according to the Census Bureau.

maureenmfarrell
Big day for housing. Case-Schiller index is "housing bubble good" says @chrisidore http://t.co/idYD2ptdNF $HD popping on good #s

The nation's aging housing "stock" is another bullish factor for Home Depot, according to one trader.

reformedbroker
Home Depot crushed it on earnings this morning, 89 million homes in the US are 25 years old or more, refurbishment trend has legs. $HD

OptionsHawk
Wow, that Home Depot $HD quarter is strong, show's just how much better it is than Lowe's $LOW with that SSS #

Home Depot's results came one day after rival home improvement chain Lowe's (LOW) said sales and earnings fell in the fourth quarter, although the decline wasn't as bad as feared. Lowe's also announced a $5 billion share repurchase.

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Ben Rooney
Ben Rooney
Staff writer, CNNMoney

Ben Rooney is a staff writer for CNNMoney. He covers the European debt crisis and other international finance stories, in addition to writing about stocks, bonds, investing and other Wall Street-related news. Follow Ben on Twitter: @ben_rooney

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