(Bloomberg) — Home Depot Inc (NYSE:). rebounded from a string of disappointing results with a fourth quarter that topped analysts’ projections as the U.S. housing market heated up. The shares gained in early trading.

  • Earnings per share of $2.28 topped the average prediction of $2.11. The company forecast comparable sales growth of 3.5% to 4% this year, implying an acceleration is likely.

Key Insights

  • Same-store sales — a key measure of a chain’s performance — gained 5.2% in the fourth quarter, compared with the average projection for 4.7% growth, according to Consensus Metrix. The report cheered investors after the stock took a hit in November when the retail giant trimmed its same-store sales outlook.
  • Higher U.S. home prices is the metric Home Depot cares most about because when home owners see their property as more of an investment, they increase renovations.
  • With this quarter’s results, Home Depot hasn’t missed Wall Street’s profit estimates since the first quarter of 2014.

Market Reaction

  • Home Depot shares rose as much as 2.6% in premarket trading Tuesday. The stock has advanced 9.8% this year through Monday’s close.
  • For the company statement, click here.
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