In a pandemic year, Home Depot’s numbers shine through

The housing market was one of the few bright spots for the US economy almost a year after business shutdown. Home Depot became one of its top suppliers, racking up $ 132 billion in sales in 2020, an unprecedented number.

The Home Depot’s fiscal fourth-quarter sales rose 25% as the home improvement product chain continues to meet demand from Americans stuck at home by the pandemic and students taking classes remotely. Many families concluded that larger homes, or at least different homes, should be the answer in 2020, sending house prices sky-high, making the housing market look resilient.

On Tuesday, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices in 20 U.S. cities, posted a 10.1% increase in December, compared to the same month last year. That surpassed the 9.2% jump from the previous month and all other months almost seven years earlier.

While Home Depot wasn’t the only vendor to meet the demand for hammers, paint, or appliances that accompanied the housing boom, the total volume of goods it sold this year was staggering.

Trying to put that volume in context, Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData, calculated that in 2020 the equivalent of every person in the United States spent $ 402 at Home Depot.

“It’s easy to look at the Home Depot numbers and attribute their success to the pandemic,” Saunders said Tuesday. “However, maintaining three-quarters of growth above 20% is extremely difficult in terms of the pressure it puts on the entire operation, from supply chains to stores.”

The chain also increased its quarterly dividend 10% to $ 1.65 per share. Revenues between October and December increased to $ 32.26 billion from $ 25.78 billion in the same quarter last year. The figure beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research, who forecast $ 30.66 billion.

Sales at the chain’s stores around the world open for at least a year – a key indicator of the health of retail companies – rose 24.5%. As for stores in the United States, the figure increased by 25%.