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.
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.
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.
The nation's aging housing "stock" is another bullish factor for Home Depot, according to one trader.
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.
Lowe's (LOW) impressed investors with third quarter results Monday that showed the home improvement retailer is following its own slogan to "never stop improving."
Third quarter profits jumped 76% from a year ago. Investors, in turn, pushed the stock up nearly 7% Monday. That had some traders on StockTwits excited.
elliottrexler: $LOW. Is an increase in same store sales oversees an indication of what's to come? #Lowes Beats estimates
Still it's unclear MOREMaureen Farrell - Nov 19, 2012 12:35 PM ET
Shares of homebuilders rallied Wednesday after Toll Brothers reported strong quarterly results and an industry group said home sales rose in July.
The nation's leading luxury homebuilder reported a 46% jump in net income to $61.6 million in the quarter ended July 31. Toll Brothers also said new contracts rose 57%, and its contract backlog grew 44% during the quarter.
Toll Brothers (TOL) stock gained nearly 4% Wednesday. Shares of Hovnanian (HOV), MOREBen Rooney - Aug 22, 2012 1:55 PM ET
|Invasive lionfish now on Whole Foods menu - sans poisonous spines|
|Verizon reaches deal with 36,000 striking workers May 27|
|Donald Trump under oath: Trump University's promises crumble|
|Google's plan to kill passwords|
|Ad tycoon Jean-Claude Decaux, pioneer of self-cleaning public toilets, dies at 78|