Home Depot Inc., the world's largest home-improvement retailer,reported a third-quarter profit gain that exceeded analysts'estimates, spurred by an increasing number of customers who spentmore.

Net income increased 12 percent to $934 million, or 60 cents ashare, in the quarter that ended Oct. 30 from $834 million, or 51cents, a year earlier, Atlanta-based Home Depot said today in astatement. Analysts projected 59 cents, the average of 22 estimatesin a Bloomberg survey.

Chief Executive Officer Frank Blake has lured consumers pinchedby sagging home prices by shifting back-office employees to thesales floor and improving distribution from warehouses to stores.The number of transactions increased by 1.2 percent to 325.3million while shoppers spent more, boosting the average ticket by 3percent to $53.03.

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