ATLANTA – Despite a data breach, The Home Depot reported sales of $20.5 billion for the third quarter of 2014, a 5.4 percent increase from the third quarter of fiscal 2013.

Professional Buyers Help Boost Home Depot 3Q Sales to $20 BillionComparable store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 increased 5.2 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores increased 5.8 percent. Net earnings for the third quarter were $1.5 billion, compared with net earnings of $1.4 billion for the same period in 2013.

The company said it expects sales growth of approximately 4.8 percent over the fiscal year.

CEO Craig Menear called out the professional buyer as a key source of revenue. He said Home Depot is benefiting from the improvement in home values, which encourages people to remodel and improve

The Home Depot confirmed its payment data systems were breached in a cyber-attack, which could potentially impact customers using credit and debit cards at its U.S. and Canadian stores. The attack was discovered by company officials on Sept. 2 and appears to have occurred as far back as April 2014. The company said it could not estimate costs related to the breach, which may include “liabilities to payment card networks for reimbursements of credit card fraud and card reissuance costs; liabilities related to the Company's private label credit card fraud and card reissuance; liabilities from current and future civil litigation, governmental investigations and enforcement proceedings; future expenses for legal, investigative and consulting fees; and incremental expenses and capital investments for remediation activities.” Any costs could impact the company’s end-of-year reports, the company said.

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