12:15 PM, May 16, 2017 — Home Depot (HD), a US home improvement supplies retailer, raised its forecast for diluted earnings-per-share growth in the fiscal year on Tuesday as it posted double digit growth in its first-quarter earnings against a backdrop of brightening sentiment in the US housing market.
Net earnings for the quarter ended April 30 totaled $2.01 billion, or $1.67 per diluted share, compared with $1.80 billion, or $1.44 per diluted share, in the same period a year earlier, the Atlanta, Georgia-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. This beat the consensus estimate of analysts polled by Capital IQ for net earnings of $1.94 billion.
Revenue was worth $23.89 billion compared with $22.76 billion in the fiscal first quarter a year earlier, also topping the average analyst forecast of $23.74 billion in a Capital IQ poll. Gross profit was up by 4.7% at $8.15 billion over the same time frame.
The results “reflected broad-based growth across our interconnected platform and all geographies,” Craig Menear, chief executive of Home Depot, said.
The results come against a backdrop of improving sentiment in the US housing market. Sales of new single-family houses in March rose 5.8% from February to 621,000, the US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a joint release last month. The February rate was revised to 587,000.
Another indicator, the US National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) housing market index of homebuilder sentiment rose to 70 in May from 68 in April while the index of expectations for single family home sales for the next six months rose to 79 from 75, NAHB data published on Monday indicated.
The company, which operates 2,281 retail stores in across all US states and in Canada and Mexico said comparable store sales rose 5.5% and comparable sales in the US jumped by 6%. The company reiterated its sales growth estimates for this fiscal year at 4.6% and said it sees comparable sales also rising by about 4.6%.
Home Depot also raised its diluted earnings-per-share growth forecast for the fiscal year and now expects diluted earnings-per-share growth after anticipated share repurchases of about 11% percent to $7.15.
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