US corporate results round up

Home Depot raises forecasts for sales
HOME Depot yesterday raised its full-year outlook as the retailer benefited from a recent uptick in the US housing market and analysts expect a sales boost from Hurricane Sandy in the current quarter.

The world’s biggest home improvement chain posted quarterly net earnings up 1.4 per cent to $947m (£596m), on sales that rose a bigger-than-forecast five per cent to $18.13bn.

“Our third-quarter results were better than we expected and reflected, in part, what we believe is the start of the path toward the healing of the housing market,” said Home Depot chief executive Frank Blake in a statement yesterday.

Xerox lifts buyback but lowers outlook
XEROX yesterday cut its fourth-quarter profit target as it restructures in the face of economic weakness, but said it will raise its dividend 35 per cent, sending its shares higher.

The company, historically known for printers and copiers, said it was taking a restructuring charge of around $100m (£62.9m), at the high end of its previously announced target range, in its services business, which handles anything from toll systems to the US government Medicare programme.

But the firm has boosted its share buyback scheme by $1bn.

The company expects 2013 revenue to be flat to up two per cent, roughly in line with analysts' expectations.

Saks says Sandy has hit US retail trading
DEPARTMENT store operator Saks expects sales at stores open at least a year to be flat during the holiday quarter because of a slow start to November due to Hurricane Sandy.

Saks said yesterday that the storm affected stores that make up more than half of its sales.

Quarterly sales rose three per cent to $713.2m (£449m), below the $726.1m analysts were expecting. Sales at stores open at least year rose 3.3 per cent, below the company's own forecasts.

During the third quarter, Saks sales and profits were hurt by what it called a “modest” spike in promotions, which lowered its gross profit margin by 0.3 points to 43.9 per cent of sales.

Fashion firm Michael Kors trebles its profit
NET income more than tripled at fashion company Michael Kors during the second quarter, the firm said yesterday as it raised its full-year profit view.

Strong demand in the US and Europe pushed revenues up 74.4 per cent to $532.9m (£335.9m), while sales at stores open more than a year rose 45.2 per cent.

Despite a weakening economy in Europe, Kors managed to double its sales there to $57m.

Net income soared from $31.6m a year earlier to $97.8m.

Michael Kors, whose founder is a judge on the long-running television fashion show “Project Runway”, said holiday-quarter sales at its own stores, open a year, could rise by a “mid-20 per cent”.

TK Maxx owner posts a surge in earnings
TJX, the US owner of retailer TK Maxx, reported a higher quarterly profit yesterday and said it expects same-store sales during the holiday quarter to be flat to up two per cent.

The firm also raised its full-year earnings by a penny per share to between $2.45 and $2.48.

TJX posted net income of $461.5m (£290.6m) for the quarter, up from $406.5m a year earlier, a whisker above analyst forecasts.

Net sales rose 10.7 per cent to $6.41bn, while same-store sales rose seven per cent – accelerating from three per cent growth a year ago.

The gain was most pronounced in Europe, where same-store sales were up 11 per cent.