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Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - 4:27am

Home Depot Posts Higher Than Expected Profit

Despite an earnings drop of nearly 9 percent, Home Depot posted a higher than expected profit for the third quarter.

The world’s largest home-improvement retailer says its net profit for the quarter fell to $689 million. But the 41 cents-a-share posting was better than what most analysts predicted, at 36 cents-per-share.

The results spurred Atlanta-based Home Depot to raise its full-year earnings outlook. CEO Frank Blake says he’s basing that on seeing some signs of stabilization in the real estate market.

Still, officials with Home Depot and rival Lowe’s are staying cautious in their overall business approach. Both retailers have been cutting costs and inventory to help offset weak demand in the home improvement market.