Home Depot on Tuesday reported sales that missed analysts’ expectations, and it lowered its sales outlook for the year amid fears that the trade war will slow consumer spending.
“Today we are updating our sales guidance to account primarily for continued lumber price deflation, as well as potential impacts to the U.S. consumer arising from recently announced tariffs,” CEO Craig Menear said in a statement.
The company’s shares were up nearly 2% in premarket trading, however, with investors applauding an earnings beat.
Wells Fargo analyst Zachary Fadem said he viewed the mixed results as “a clearing event for an improving setup ahead,” with Home Depot’s quarterly profitability coming in better than expected.
Here’s what Home Depot reported for the fiscal second quarter of 2019 compared with what analysts were expecting, based on Refinitiv data:
- Earnings per share, adjusted: $3.17 vs. $3.08 expected
- Revenue: $30.84 billion vs. $30.99 billion expected
- Same-store sales: up 3% vs. growth of 3.5% expected
Net income for the quarter ended Aug. 4 was $3.48 billion, or $3.17 per share, compared with $3.51 billion, or $3.05 a share, a year ago. That beat expectations for earnings of $3.08 a share, based on Refinitiv data.
Sales climbed 1.2% to $30.84 billion from $30.46 billion a year ago, short of expectations for $30.99 billion.
Sales at Home Depot stores open for at least 12 months were up 3% overall and were up 3.1% in the U.S., short of expectations for growth of 3.5%.
The Atlanta-based company previously warned about the toll a slump in lumber prices is taking on its business. Lumber futures are down roughly 16% since their highs in February, and lumber accounts for about 8% of Home Depot’s total sales. Home Depot said in May that weak lumber prices hurt first-quarter sales growth by about $200 million. It added that if prices didn’t improve, it could dent annual sales by as much as an additional $600 million.
On the heels of Tuesday’s mixed results, Home Depot is now calling for fiscal 2019 sales to be up about 2.3%, and same-store sales to be up about 4%. Previously, it was calling for total sales growth of 3.3% and same-store sales growth of 5%.
It’s still expecting earnings per share to grow by about 3.1% to $10.03 for the year.
Home Depot said the average shopper’s ticket grew 1.7% during the second quarter to $67.31 from $66.20 a year earlier. It said sales per square foot climbed 1.1% to $509.55 from $504.20 in fiscal 2018.
“We are encouraged by the momentum we are seeing from our strategic investments and believe that the current health of the U.S. consumer and a stable housing environment continue to support our business,” Menear said.
Still, analysts remain concerned that Home Depot, along with rival Lowe’s, will lose momentum in what looks to be a rockier housing environment.
“Existing home sales remain choppy; home price appreciation is slowing; and home remodel/repair activity is expected to step down further as we get into the back half of 2019 and into 2020,” Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom said in a note to clients earlier in the week.
Home Depot shares, which are valued at $228.8 billion, are up more than 21% this year. Lowe’s shares, valued at $74.5 billion, are up about 3%.