Home Depot posts better-than-expected quarter despite inflation

Earnings

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Home Depot reported Tuesday its third-quarter revenue increased about 6% to nearly $38.9 billion, beating analyst expectations, as the retailer continued to beckon customers despite rising costs and macroeconomic pressures. 

Both its professional and do-it-yourself sales saw positive growth during the period, the retailer’s management said on a call with investors, adding professionals say their backlogs remain strong.

The company posted a profit of $4.3 billion, or $4.24 per diluted share, up from $4.1 billion, or $3.92 per share, from the same quarter last year.

Here’s what Home Depot reported Tuesday, compared with analyst expectations, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $4.24, vs. $4.12 expected
  • Revenue: $38.87 billion, vs. $37.96 billion expected

On Tuesday Home Depot reaffirmed its full-year guidance ahead of the key holiday quarter, noting it expects diluted earnings per share percentage growth in the mid-single digits. The company also expects comparable store sales to grow about 3% and an operating margin of approximately 15%.

A customer wearing a protective mask loads lumber onto a cart at a Home Depot store in Pleasanton, California, on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Investors have kept an eye on Home Depot’s performance and whether shoppers are still spending on renovations and do-it-yourself home improvements as they face persistent inflation. 

“We’re navigating a unique environment,” Home Depot CEO Ted Decker said on Tuesday’s call with investors. “We can’t predict how the macroeconomic backdrop will affect customers going forward.”

Despite this, he added the company believes demand will remain strong, especially as consumers continue to stay home more than usual. The typical Home Depot customer is still able to afford home improvement projects, he said.

Home Depot said Tuesday that while its customer transactions were down slightly more than 4%, its average ticket prices rose about 9% to $89.67. The company also said its sales per retail square foot rose 5%.

Chief Financial Officer Richard McPhail noted the company is being faced with an “inflationary environment not seen in four decades,” in addition to managing supply chain issues and a global shift in monetary policy.

Company executives said the higher ticket prices were driven by inflation, as well as increased demand for new products, adding there’s been some deceleration in inflation in recent months, particularly in lumber.

Home Depot’s gross margin rate was down to 34%, meeting analyst expectations. The decrease was likely due to transportation costs, unfavorable product mix shift and commodity costs, according to a Raymond James analyst note.

— CNBC’s Robert Hum contributed to this report.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that Home Depot’s profit of $4.3 billion, or $4.24 per diluted share, was up from $4.1 billion, or $3.92 per share, from the same quarter last year.

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