Home Depot profit tops estimates as housing market heals

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Home Depot’s average transaction value in the third quarter rose 2.9 percent to $54.55 while the number of purchases climbed 1.7 percent to 331 million.

The earnings reflect “the start of the path toward the healing of the housing market,” Chief Executive Officer Frank Blake said in the statement.

The company plans to buy back about $700 million in shares in the fourth quarter, bringing its total repurchases for the year to about $4 billion, Home Depot said.

Hurricane Sandy, which slammed into the East Coast two weeks ago, will result in a sales boost similar to the one provided by Hurricane Irene, which added about $360 million in sales last year, executives said today on a conference call.

Lowe’s Cos., the second-biggest home improvement retailer, plans to report third-quarter results Nov. 19.

(Home Depot will hold a conference call for analysts at 9 a.m. New York time. Click HD US <Equity> EVTS <GO> to listen.)

Bloomberg News

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