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Home Depot Inc. reported financial results on Tuesday.

The Associated Press

Home Depot reported a better-than-expected fourth quarter with strong comparable-store sales. The home improvement retailer also boosted its quarterly dividend by 10 per cent.

Shares rose 3 per cent in premarket trading Tuesday.

“Home Depot’s numbers are important as they, perhaps more than those of other retailers, reflect underlying consumer confidence: the housing market and big-ticket spending are leading indicators of the broader economy,” Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said in a statement.

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A report released Tuesday, showed that U.S. home prices rose at a faster pace in December, with mortgage rates remaining low and a falling supply of available properties. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 2.9 per cent in December from a year earlier after posting a 2.5 per cent gain in November.

The latest figures on consumer confidence will be released Tuesday by the Conference Board, a non-profit business research group.

For the three months ended Feb. 2, Home Depot Inc. earned $2.48 billion, or $2.28 per share. That’s better than the per-share earnings of $2.11 projected by industry analysts, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research. A year earlier the Atlanta company earned $2.34 billion, or $2.09 per share.

Revenue declined to $25.78 billion from $26.49 billion. The year-ago period included an extra week. The results still topped Wall Street’s forecast of $25.75 billion.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 5.2 per cent, which was also better than analysts had expected. Those sales climbed 5.3 per cent in the U.S.

Rival Lowe’s Cos., which will report its financial results on Wednesday, saw its shares climb 2.1 per cent before the market open.

Home Depot anticipates earnings this year of about $10.45 per share, far better than analysts projections of $10.08. It expects revenue growth of approximately 3.5 per cent to 4 per cent.

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