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Home Depot Smashes Q2 Earnings Forecasts As Pandemic Sales Surge

Home Depot will pay a quarterly dividend of $1.50 per share after smashing second quarter earnings forecasts and notching more than $38 billion in total sales.

Home Depot Inc.  (HD)  posted much stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Tuesday as sales far outpaced analysts' forecasts even amid the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Home Depot said earnings for the three months ending on August 2, the group's fiscal second quarter, were pegged at $4.02 per share, up 26.8% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Home Depot said, rose 24.75% to $38.1 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $34.5 billion tally.

Home Depot said same-store sales rose 23.4% -- more than double analysts's forecasts of a 10.5% gain -- as coronavirus lockdowns, and soaring house prices, enticed more buyers to spend cash on hoe repair projects. 

"The investments we have made across the business have significantly increased our agility, allowing us to respond quickly to changes while continuing to promote a safe operating environment. This enhanced our team's ability to work cross-functionally to better serve our customers and deliver record-breaking sales in the quarter," said CEO Craig Menear. 

"We remain focused on continuing the momentum of our One Home Depot investment strategy that we believe will position us for continued growth over the long-term, while at the same time maintaining flexibility to navigate the demands of the current environment. Through it all, we will continue to lead with our values by doing the right thing and taking care of our people."

Home Depot shares were marked 1.5% lower in early trading immediately following the earnings release to change hands at $284.65 each.

Last week, the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose for a third consecutive month in July, with a record dollar volume of $538 billion. The pace of gains, however, slowed to 1.2% -- from an 8.4% advance in June -- as consumers pared back purchases ahead of the expiry of the $600 weekly unemployment benefit, which ended in the final week of July.

August sales are likely to be further impacted by the fading support, as well as the fact that some 31 million Americans remain out of work due to the coronavirus downturn and the slow reopening of businesses and factories around the coung