Home Depot profits soar as weather, housing market improve
Home Depot (HD) net income increased 14 percent in the second quarter thanks to a rebound in its spring selling season. While the season started off a bit cold and rainy for Home Depot, weather improved and shoppers headed out to stores to pick up supplies later in the spring.
Gene J. Puskar/AP/File
Home Depot's (HD) fiscal second-quarter net income increased 14 percent thanks to a rebound in its spring selling season.
Spring is the biggest season for home-improvement retailers, as homeowners and others work on their yards and gardens. While the season started off a bit cold and rainy, weather improved and shoppers headed out to stores to pick up supplies.
The No. 1 home improvement retailer's quarterly performance beat analysts' estimates, and the Atlanta company raised its full-year earnings forecast again.
Shares of Home Depot rose in Tuesday premarket trading.
For the three months ended Aug. 3, Home Depot Inc. earned $2.05 billion, or $1.52 per share. A year earlier it earned $1.8 billion, or $1.24 per share.
Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research predicted earnings of $1.44 per share.
Home Depot's stock gained $2.53, or 3 percent, to $86.12 before the market open.
Revenue climbed nearly 6 percent to $23.81 billion from $22.52 billion. This beat Wall Street's forecast of $23.57 billion.
Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, rose 5.8 percent. In the U.S., the metric increased 6.4 percent.
Sales at stores open at least a year excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.
Aside from the better weather, Home Depot has been helped of late by an improving U.S. housing market. Home prices have started to rise, and there's been steady job growth and fewer troubled loans dating back to the housing-bubble days. While the housing market has recently had a bit of trouble maintaining that momentum, many home owners are spending more to renovate their homes.
On Tuesday the Commerce Department reports on U.S. home construction in July. The expectation is that construction increased 8.1 percent.
Looking ahead, Home Depot now foresees fiscal 2014 earnings of $4.52 per share. Its prior outlook was for $4.42 per share. Before that, the retailer anticipated earnings of $4.38 per share.
Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings of $4.41 per share.
The chain maintained its guidance for full-year sales to be up about 4.8 percent from the previous year. Based on 2013's revenue of $78.81 billion, this implies approximately $82.6 billion. Wall Street predicts $82.5 billion.
Home Depot's smaller rival Lowe's Cos. reports its financial results on Wednesday.
Home Depot's statement on its earnings and raised profit outlook for the year is below:
The Home Depot®, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $23.8 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2014, a 5.7 percent increase from the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Comparable store sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 were positive 5.8 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 6.4 percent.
Net earnings for the second quarter were $2.1 billion, or $1.52 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $1.8 billion, or $1.24 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2013. For the second quarter of fiscal 2014, diluted earnings per share increased 22.6 percent from the same period in the prior year.
"In the second quarter, our spring seasonal business rebounded, and we saw strong performance in the core of the store and across all of our geographies," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO. "I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication, especially at this time of increased demand."
Updated Fiscal 2014 Guidance
The Company confirmed that it expects fiscal 2014 sales will be up approximately 4.8 percent from fiscal 2013. Based on its second quarter performance and its outlook for the year, the Company raised its fiscal 2014 diluted earnings-per-share guidance and now expects diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 20.2 percent to $4.52 for the year. This earnings-per-share guidance includes the benefit of the Company's year-to-date share repurchases of $3.5 billion and the Company's intent to repurchase an additional $3.5 billion of shares over the remainder of the year.
The Home Depot will conduct a conference call today at 9 a.m. ET to discuss information included in this news release and related matters. The conference call will be available in its entirety through a webcast and replay at earnings.homedepot.com.
At the end of the second quarter, the Company operated a total of 2,264 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia,Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.