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Home Depot rides housing boom to record sales, profit in 2Q

NEW YORK (AP) — Home Depot posted record sales and earnings during its second quarter and raised its profit expectations for the year as the U.S. housing market continues to warm up.

The Atlanta home improvement retailer’s profit jumped 9 percent to $2.44 billion, or $1.97 per share, edging out Wall Street expectations by a penny, according to analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Sales surged 6.6 percent to $26.47 billion, also slightly better than expected.

Home Depot and its rival, Lowe’s sailed through a downturn in the retail sector this year as a whole, with more Americans funneling money into the homes they own, or putting personal touches on new ones.

The U.S. reported that new home construction jumped 4.8 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million. That was the highest since February, when an unseasonably mild winter pulled builders out of hibernation early.

That trend appears to be continuing.

This week, the National Association of Home Builders with Wells Fargo released its builder sentiment index, showing that optimism among homebuilders is on the rise.

“We had a solid quarter, achieving the highest quarterly sales and net earnings results in company history as housing continues to be a tail wind for our business,” said CEO Craig Menear in a company release Tuesday.

Same-store sales jumped 4.7 percent, in line with expectations.

The company boosted its full-year profit outlook to $6.31 per share from a previous per-share projection of $6.27.

Shares of The Home Depot Inc. up almost 4 percent this year, edged higher before the opening bell Tuesday.

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