Industry Watch

INDUSTRY WATCH

November 23, 2003

Home-improvement rivals Home Depot, Lowe's have good 3Q

Lowe's and Home Depot said last week that profits jumped during the third quarter as people continued spending money on home improvements and the economy strengthened.

Home Depot Inc. posted a 22 percent gain in profit during the third quarter, according to results it announced Tuesday.

Lowe's Cos. Inc. said Monday that profit jumped 33 percent in the third quarter.

Both companies are in a fierce battle for market share.

Atlanta-based Home Depot said it earned $1.15 billion, or 50 cents a share, for the three months that ended Nov. 2, compared with a profit of $940 million, or 40 cents a share, for the corresponding period a year ago. Revenue in the quarter was $16.6 billion, a 15 percent jump from the $14.48 billion the company recorded a year ago.

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's reported a profit of $452 million in the third quarter. It had revenue of $7.9 billion, up from $6.4 billion during the corresponding period a year ago. The company's earnings per share increased to 56 cents in the third quarter, from 43 cents in the year-ago period.

During the third quarter, Lowe's opened 38 stores and now has 932 stores in 45 states. The company plans to open 47 stores in the fourth quarter for a total of 130 this year.

Home Depot has 1,645 stores and this month opened its 100th location in Canada.

Home Depot plans to open 200 stores this year.

Clapton beach house in Venice, Calif., for sale

Eric Clapton has put his Venice, Calif., beach house on the market at just under $1.5 million.

The legendary British rocker said he decided to sell his home of four years because he needs more space for his growing family.

The ocean-view house, designed by Arata Isozaki and built in 1986, has one bedroom and two bathrooms in about 2,100 square feet.

The living room has a 30-foot cathedral ceiling, skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows, which open onto a Japanese bamboo garden. The master bedroom has a 20-foot cathedral ceiling. The house is a few steps from the beach.

Clapton also has homes in England and Antigua, West Indies, as well as two homes in France.

Clapton is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. The rock-blues guitarist and lead singer is a multiple Grammy Award-winning songwriter who has worked on the scores of many movies, including three of the Lethal Weapon films.

He was also musical director of Concert for George, the film tribute to George Harrison, his late friend and guitarist with The Beatles.

From Los Angeles Times, Cox News Service, Associated Press and Bloomberg News reports

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