Home Depot Tops Estimate, but Forecast Does Not

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The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) reported fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.67 and $18.2 billion in revenues before markets opened this morning. In the same period a year ago, the home improvement store reported EPS of $0.50 on revenue of $16.01 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.64 and $17.69 billion in revenue.

On a GAAP basis, Home Depot posted quarterly EPS of $0.68, which was lowered by costs associated with closing seven stores in China. For the full year, GAAP EPS totaled $3.00

Home Depot posted full-year diluted EPS of $3.10 on revenues of $74.75 billion, compared with consensus estimates for EPS of $3.05 on revenues of $74.2 billion.

Competitor Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) reported earnings yesterday that met lowered expectations, and it forecast 2013 EPS below consensus. Home Depot’s 2013 guidance included revenue growth of 2%, same-store sales growth of 3%, and diluted EPS of $3.37. Consensus estimates called for EPS of $3.49 on revenues of $76.37 billion. That is not a stirring forecast, but Home Depot did take a cautious approach to guidance last year and ending up raising it more than once. That was not true for Lowe’s.

Home Depot’s CEO said:

We ended the year with a strong performance as our business benefited from a continued recovery in the housing market coupled with sales related to repairs in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

U.S. same-store sales for the quarter rose 7.1% year-over-year, and the rise for all stores was 7%. The totals include a 14th week in the quarter; on a 13-week basis, global same-store sales rose 6.3% in the quarter. For the full year, global same-store sales rose 4.6% on a 14-week basis and 4.5% on a 13-week basis.

Shares are up about 1.5% in premarket trading, at $64.88. The current 52-week range is $46.12 to $68.15. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $69.90 before today’s results were announced.

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