Home Depot same-store sales crush Wall Street estimates

Home Depot‘s quarterly same-store sales blew past analysts’ estimates again, as the home improvement retailer saw customer transactions increase, and shoppers on average have been spending more across its stores.

After facing a slew of devastating hurricanes during its fiscal third quarter, Home Depot said revenue from those storms positively impacted same-store sales by roughly $282 million.

The Atlanta-based retailer also raised its full-year sales and earnings outlook, based on its projected “hurricane recovery” sales.

Home Depot shares were climbing around 2 percent in premarket trade Tuesday on the news.

Here’s what Home Depot reported, compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a Thomson Reuters survey of analysts:

  • Earnings of $1.84 a share, excluding items, compared with a forecast profit of $1.82 per share.
  • Revenue was $25.03 billion, versus an estimate of $24.55 billion.
  • Same-store sales climbed 7.9 percent, compared with an anticipated increase of 5.8 percent.

“Though this quarter was marked by an unprecedented number of natural disasters, including multiple hurricanes, wildfires in the West, and earthquakes in Mexico, the underlying health of our core business remains solid,” Chief Executive Craig Menear said in a statement.

Net income climbed to $2.17 billion, or $1.84 a share, in the fiscal third quarter, compared to $1.97 billion, or $1.60 per share, a year ago.

Revenue was up 8 percent, to $25.03 billion, as Home Depot’s sales per square foot also grew nearly 8 percent year-over-year. Shoppers’ average ticket was 5 percent higher, and customer transactions increased by 2.5 percent.

Total same-store sales climbed an impressive 7.9 percent during the latest period, easily outpacing analysts’ estimates. Comparable sales for Home Depot’s U.S. stores were up 7.7 percent.

Looking to fiscal 2017, Home Depot now expects total sales to increase 6.3 percent, compared to a previous forecast calling for 5.3 percent growth. Comparable sales are now predicted to climb 6.5 percent, compared to prior estimates calling for an increase of 5.5 percent.

The home improvement retailer has also raised its full-year profit outlook and is predicting to earn $7.36 a share, up from its previous forecast of $7.29 per share.

While many retailers are struggling to grow sales, home improvement businesses such as Home Depot and Lowe’s continue to outperform in luring shoppers to their stores. E-commerce platforms, including Amazon, haven’t yet succeeded in amassing the same product assortments — from lumber to outdoor grills — online.

And in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Home Depot and Lowe’s have benefited from the sale of storm-related merchandise such as generators, batteries and rebuilding materials.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s retail sales data, home improvement spending remains healthier still than most retail categories.

As of Monday’s market close, Home Depot shares have climbed nearly 24 percent in 2017.

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