Lowe's says net income rose 26% in the third quarter of 2013 to $499 million from $396 million in the year-ago period, with sales climbing 7.3% in the quarter to $13 billion from $12.1 billion in the third quarter of 2012.

In the first nine months of the year, the Mooresville, N.C.-based building materials retailer’s net income came to $1.98 billion, compared to $1.67 in the same period in 2012, while sales totaled $41.8 billion in the period, versus $29.5 billion a year ago.

“We saw strength in all regions of the country with double digit comp performance in Florida, as well as particular strength in California and Arizona, markets where the housing recovery is well underway,” chairman, president and CEO Robert A. Niblock said during the company’s third quarter earnings call.

In August, Lowes acquired 72 stores from Orchard Supply in California. The purchase increased the chain’s foot print in the state with stores featuring “a neighborhood format” that company officials say complements the chain’s strength in big-box retail.

“Orchard’s smaller format neighborhood hardware stores are located in densely populated markets and offer a product selection focused on paint, repair and backyard categories,” said chief customer officer Greg Bridgeford. “As a result, Orchard stores have more transaction per square foot but fewer per store and a lower average ticket than a traditional Lowe’s store.”

Lowe’s pro customer base continues to grow, outpacing the consumer segment in both transactions and tickets. The company is boosting inventory to attract the pro customer by stocking “job lot” quantities of building materials, electrical, plumbing and hardware products.

As of Nov. 1, Lowe's operated 1,831 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 200.1 million square feet of retail selling space.