Home Depot (HD -0.14%) released its third quarter report on November 19 and it blew past expectations on both the top and bottom lines. Its shares have had a strong 2013, rising over 27% year-to-date and are responding to the news positively today as well. Let's take a look at the earnings blowout that caused the stock to soar.

Home improvement giant
Home Depot is the largest home improvement specialty retailer in the world. It currently operates 2,260 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, and Guam. The company was founded in 1978, went public in 1984, and has been a part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1999.

Source: Home Depot Investor Relations

The results
Third quarter results were released today, Nov. 19, and it was an impressive set of statistics. Here's an overview of the key metrics:

Metric Reported Expected
Earnings Per Share $0.95 $0.89
Revenue $19.50 billion $19.17 billion

Earnings per share grew 28.4% and revenue rose 7.4% compared to the third quarter in 2012. Global comparable-store sales rose an incredible 7.4%, with the U.S. showing 8.2% growth. Home Depot's chief executive officer noted continued improvement and strength in the housing market as one of the drivers for its success. Overall, it was an absolute blowout quarter and the stock has reacted accordingly.

Management's outlook
Due to the strong results in the third quarter, management raised its outlook for the remainder of fiscal 2013. The company now expects earnings per share of approximately $3.72, which would represent 24% growth from 2012. Sales are expected to rise about 5.6% for the year, with the help of comparable-store sales rising 7%. An earnings beat and raised guidance is just about as good as it gets in today's market.

Competitor due out
Lowe's (LOW -0.37%) is Home Depot's largest competitor, with 1,758 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It is set to report earnings on Nov. 20, before the market opens. Last time it reported, on Aug. 21, Lowe's had a very impressive quarter in which earnings rose 37.5%, net sales rose 10.3%, and margins expanded. With the strong results Home Depot just reported, I am bullish on Lowe's; however, it is within a point of its 52-week high, so I would not be buying before the results are released.

The Foolish bottom line
Home Depot reported an absolutely incredible quarter. The results allowed management to raise its full-year guidance and management now predicts 24% growth from 2012. Home Depot is one of the greatest public companies in the market today; it can offer price appreciation, a healthy dividend, and a management team that is active in initiating share repurchases. Value investors should look to pick up a position in this company on any weakness provided by the market in the coming weeks.