The Nuts and Bolts: August 20, 2013

A little DIY, FYI…

The Home Depot Announces Second Quarter Results

The Home Depot Logo

The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $22.5 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2013. On a like for like basis, comparable store sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 were positive 10.7 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 11.4 percent. Total sales increased 9.5 percent from the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

Due to the 14th week in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, second quarter sales were impacted by a calendar timing change that resulted in one less week of spring sales in the second quarter when compared to the same period of fiscal 2012. This shift reduced total sales growth by approximately $249 million or 120 basis points.

Net earnings for the second quarter were $1.8 billion, or $1.24 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $1.5 billion, or $1.01 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2012. For the second quarter of fiscal 2013, diluted earnings per share increased 22.8 percent from the same period in the prior year.

"The second quarter results exceeded our expectations as our business benefited from a rebound in our seasonal categories, continued strength in the core of the store and the recovering housing market in the U.S.," said Frank Blake, chairman & CEO. "Our associates did an outstanding job of responding to the strong increased demand. I would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication."

Source: The Home Depot

Justice for Victims of Home Improvement Fraud

Five home improvement contracting companies controlled and operated by two relatives have been permanently shut down, with 86 consumers eligible to receive restitution for damage the State alleged was caused by workers inspecting chimneys, roofs and gutters and, in some cases, failing to make repairs or making substandard repairs.

The Office of the Attorney General and the Divisions of Consumer Affairs and Law in 2012 filed suit against Sulejman Lita, 36, of North Haledon, and AAA Reliable, Inc., his home improvement contracting company as well as a related company, Old Reliable Construction Limited Liability Company. After the filing, the State obtained temporary restraints barring the businesses from advertising, selling and/or performing home improvements.

The suit later was amended to include Liman Lita, 39, of North Haledon, believed to be Sulejman’s cousin, and three companies that the State alleged were controlled by them: A Safeway Construction, Inc.; A Safeway Construction, LLC; and A Safeway Improvements, Inc. A Safeway Construction, Inc., was created after the filing of the State’s lawsuit.

“We alleged these defendants used coupons offering free inspections and low-priced services to gain access to homes, where workers damaged chimneys, roofs or gutters to coerce consumers into paying for expensive repairs,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “We also alleged that senior citizens, many of whom were on fixed incomes, specifically were targeted, making the conduct of these defendants even more reprehensible. This settlement returns money to those were victimized by the Litas and their companies.”

The settlement provides for a payment of $315,000, which is to be paid by Sulejman Lita. The Division of Consumer Affairs received a $25,000 payment upon filing of the Final Consent Judgment in State Superior Court in Hackensack on July 15, 2013. A second payment of $125,000, is due by August 31, 2013.

“We intend to distribute the combined $150,000 to consumers who filed complaints with the Division and are owed restitution,” said Eric T. Kanefsky, Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. “Putting bad actors out of business and getting money back into the hands of those who were wronged are always our priorities. Through this settlement we have achieved both ends.”

Source: Attorney General John Jay Hoffman