Home Depot to spend $1 billion more on employees as sales surge

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Down Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Home Depot is seen in Encinitas, California April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) – Home Depot Inc HD.N said on Tuesday it would spend about $1 billion more annually on employees’ compensation as the home improvement chain benefits from a sustained surge in demand for tools, paint and building materials.

Demand has jumped since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as people stuck at home, with limited options for travel or leisure activities, spend more of their discretionary income on minor home remodeling and repair work.

To compensate employees working through the health crisis, Home Depot was providing temporary weekly bonuses and more hours of paid time off. The company on Tuesday said it will change some of those programs to permanent additional compensation.

Home Depot’s blue-chip stock fell about 1.7% in premarket trading, despite the company posting a 24.1% rise in same-store sales for the third quarter ended Nov. 1, and beating analysts’ average estimate of a 14.8% increase.

Net earnings rose to $3.43 billion, or $3.18 per share, from $2.77 billion, or $2.53 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of $3.06 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Overall net sales jumped 23.2% to $33.54 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $32.04 billion.

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