Home Depot earnings Q1 2018 beat expectations but sales disappoint


Home Depot reported Tuesday first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, but missed on the top line, dragged down by what the company called a “slow start to the spring selling season.”

Customer transactions during the quarter fell 1.3 percent, though shoppers spent an average of $66, 5.9 percent more than a year earlier.

Spring is the season when many shoppers buy gardening supplies and start home renovations, making it a key quarter for home improvement retailers.

“Outside of our seasonal business, we had solid results in all markets and categories and are seeing strong momentum in all lines of business during these first few weeks of May,” said CEO Craig Menear.

Home Depot shares fell more than 2 percent in premarket trading.

Here’s how the company did compared with what Wall Street expected:

  • Earnings: $2.08 per share vs. $2.05 per share forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Revenue: $24.95 billion vs. $25.15 billion forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Same-store sales growth 4.2 percent vs. 5.4 percent forecast by Thomson Reuters

In the quarter ended April 29, Home Depot said, net income rose to $2.40 billion, or $2.08 per share, from $2.01 billion, or $1.67 per share a year earlier. Analysts had expected the company to earn $2.05 per share.

While revenue rose 4.4 percent to $24.95 billion from the year-ago period, it was below the $25.15 billion analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected.

Same-store sales, meanwhile, grew 4.2 percent, far less than 5.4 percent expected.

Analysts at Jefferies last week lowered their first-quarter estimates for Home Depot, citing the poor spring weather. Jefferies expects shoppers will shift their projects to the summer rather than abandon them.

More broadly, Home Depot has been benefiting from a strong housing market and favorable economic tailwinds. Home improvement has been one of the strongest performing segments of retail, in part boosted by the recovery needed following severe weather over the past year.

More broadly, Home Depot has been building out its e-commerce strategy, surpassing its rival Lowe’s in that capacity.

Home Depot said Tuesday it is backing its previous forecasts for 2018. It has said it expects sales to rise roughly 6.5 percent and same-store sales to grow by about 5 percent.

It said that new rules regarding how it records its revenue will not materially affect its financial statements or disclosures. It will, though, change how it records revenue for its private label credit cards and gift cards.

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