Home Depot's earnings were lower due to weaker sales, but the company still managed to exceed expectations from Wall Street analysts. While consumers are not spending as much on home improvement projects as they were during the pandemic, Home Depot is still seeing some strength in smaller improvement jobs, which are an important part of its business. CEO Ted Decker noted that there has been continued customer engagement with smaller projects, but there has also been pressure in larger, discretionary categories. In the third quarter, the company earned $3.8 billion, down 12% from the previous year, but still beating analysts' forecast. Revenue also slipped 3% to $37.7 billion, slightly better than the predicted $37.6 billion. Sales at stores open for at least a year fell 3.1% due to a slowdown in the housing market. Same store sales have been down for the past three quarters, and the company expects a drop of 3% to 4% in the near future, compared to the previous outlook of a 2% to 5% drop. The housing market has been affected by higher interest rates, particularly mortgage rates, with housing starts down 12% in the first nine months of the year according to government data.
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