Home Depot reports 3Q profit drop

ATLANTA - Home Depot doesn't yet see light at the end of the tunnel. It said the slumping housing market that cut into its third-quarter profit is expected to continue into 2007, forcing the nation's largest home improvement chain to consider altering its long-term growth projections.

The Home Depot Inc. reported a 3.1 percent drop Tuesday in profit for the quarter ending Oct. 29. It lowered its earnings per share growth guidance for the year.

Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome said the Atlanta-based company has no plans to change its strategy.

''Some companies in times like this would pull back, but we won't,'' Tome said in an interview.

Home Depot said it earned $1.49 billion, or 73 cents a share, in the third quarter, compared with a profit of $1.54 billion, or 72 cents a share, for the same period a year ago.