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Home Depot shrugs off data breach with sales growth

Inside A Home Depot Store Ahead Of Earnings FiguresInside A Home Depot Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures
The Home Depot Inc. logo is seen on an employee's apron.Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Home Depot (HD) third-quarter net earnings jumped 14% as the home-improvement retailer reported higher sales across all regions it serves. Here’s what else you need to know about the company’s earnings report.

What you need to know: Home Depot’s results were strong across the board. Most notably, same-store sales climbed 5.2% across the company and increased a more impressive 5.8% in the U.S. That growth exceeded the 5% projection by Wall Street analysts, according to a survey by Consensus Metrix.

The retailer’s impressive results are especially notable in the wake of a breach investigation that first surfaced in September, with an update in November disclosing that hackers took files containing about 53 million e-mail addresses and also navigated portions of Home Depot’s network. Interestingly, the hacking headlines didn’t keep customers away from Home Depot’s stores, as the retailer on Tuesday also reported that transactions grew for the quarter ended Nov. 2. That contrasts with the experience at Target (TGT), another retailer that faced a data breach about a year ago, and subsequently posted weaker sales and profits.

The breach at Home Depot has taken a slight toll on the bottom line, however. The company reported pretax net expenses of $28 million related to the data breach in the third quarter.

The big number: Overall net sales leapt 5.4% to $20.52 billion while net earnings totaled $1.15 per share. Analysts had expected sales of $20.46 billion, with profit projected at $1.13 a share. Home Depot confirmed its full-year targets, and said the company’s earnings-per-share guidance included an estimate of net breach-related costs of about $34 million for the year. The retailer said that estimate doesn’t include other probable losses related to the breach that cannot be estimated at this time, suggesting more costs are to come.

What you might have missed: Home Depot doesn’t provide specific sales data in its prepared statement but when the retailer chats with analysts later today, observers expect it will call out an expanded assortment of appliances as a big driver of growth. The earnings call will also be an opportunity for newly promoted CEO Craig Menear, formerly president of Home Depot’s U.S. retail business, to discuss his plans to keep Home Depot on track.