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Home Depot earnings, sales top Wall Street expectations

Home Depot on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales that topped Wall Street's expectations, as more shoppers flocked to its stores and rung up bigger tickets.

Here's what the company reported compared with what analysts were expecting, based on a Thomson Reuters survey:

  • Earnings per share: $1.69, adjusted, compared with $1.61 expected, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Revenue: $23.9 billion, compared with $23.7 billion anticipated, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Same-store sales: an increase of 7.5 percent, compared with 6 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.

"Our ongoing commitment to enhance the interconnected retail experience for our customers, provide localized and innovative product, and deliver best in class productivity resulted in record sales and net earnings for 2017," CEO and Chairman Craig Menear said in a statement.

Home Depot reported net income of $1.8 billion, or $1.52 a share, compared with $1.7 billion, or $1.44 per share, a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the retailer earned $1.69 a share for the quarter. Its expenses during the period included bonus payments and impacts from new U.S. tax legislation.

Revenue climbed 7.5 percent from a year ago to $23.9 billion.

Same-store sales — a key metric for retailers — were up a whopping 7.5 percent. Home Depot's sales per square foot were notably higher during the quarter, and the average shopper ticket was $64, compared with $60.65 a year ago.

"Home Depot is selling more appliances … that helps that ticket," Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Brian Nagel told CNBC. "It's also a function of where we are in the housing market. ... We are starting to see people take money out of their homes and undertake larger-ticket remolding activity."

The Atlanta-based company also raised its quarterly dividend, for the ninth-consecutive year, by 15.7 percent to $1.03 a share.

Coming off a strong year, Home Depot is looking to grow even more in the coming months. The company expects its sales will rise by about 6.5 percent in fiscal 2018 and same-store sales will be up 5 percent. It has also reaffirmed its outlook for 2020, calling for as much as $120 billion in sales by then.

The home improvement retailer continues to thrive alongside its rival Lowe's, as their business models are much more difficult to replicate online. Amazon, for example, hasn't had much success in this area and has focused its investments elsewhere.

Home Depot is also bringing new merchandise to its stores, having recently signed a deal with Tesla to sell the carmaker's residential solar panels and Powerwall (batteries) at 800 Home Depot locations.

Shares of Home Depot rose about 1 percent in premarket trading. As of Friday's market close, Home Depot shares have climbed more than 30 percent from a year ago.