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Path to Home Depot becomes familiar for millions in pandemic

Business

Home Depot aisles are stocked with hurricane supplies as Hurricane Isaias approaches South Florida on Friday, July 31, 2020 in Boynton Beach, Fla. Isaias is forecasted to stay east of the coast but it will bring winds and possible coasting flooding. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Millions of people forced to work out of the office during the pandemic took on new projects at home and Home Depot is supplying a lot of the DIY material they need.

At Home Depot stores open at least a year, sales surged an remarkable 25% in the U.S. during the second quarter, the Atlanta company reported Tuesday.

Overall revenue hit $38.05 billion, far exceeding the $34.94 billion Wall Street was expecting, according to a Zacks Investment Research survey. The company easily topped last year’s revenue of $30.84 billion for the three months ended Aug. 2.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer’s health, climbed 23.4%, globally, trailing only the massive surge in comparable-store sales in the U.S. The overall comparable-store sales were almost twice the 12.2% increase that industry analysts had projected.

People have taken on DIY projects at a frenzied pace after being forced out of the office and after a pandemic-induced lull, demand for new houses is ramping up fast.

On Tuesday the Commerce Department reported that construction of new U.S. homes surged 22.6% last month. The department said that new homes were started at an annual pace of nearly 1.5 million in July, the highest since February and well above what economists were expecting.

The National Association of Realtors said last month that its index of pending sales rose 16.6%, to 116.1 in June, its highest level since 2006.

Home Depot Inc. earned $4.33 billion, or $4.02 per share, in the quarter, which was also far stronger than the per-share projections of $3.70 from analysts.

A year earlier it earned $3.48 billion, or $3.17 per share.

The company also declared a second-quarter dividend of $1.50 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 17 to shareholders of record on Sept. 3.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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