Home Depot Earnings Overcome Effects of Hurricane Sandy, Cold Weather

constructionThe Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) reported first-quarter 2013 diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.83 and $19.1 billion in revenues before markets opened this morning. In the same period a year ago, the home improvement store operator reported EPS of $0.68 on revenue of $17.81 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.77 and $18.68 billion in revenue.

Home Depot's revised its 2013 guidance higher following the better-than-expected results. Now the company expects revenue growth of 2.8%, up from 2% previously; same-store sales growth of 4%, up from 3%; and diluted EPS of $3.52 for the full year, up from $3.37. Consensus estimates called for EPS of $3.54 on revenues of $77.01 billion.

The company's guidance is a bit shy of consensus expectations, but Home Depot is historically cautious and typically revises its guidance periodically as the year progresses.

Home Depot's CEO said:

In the first quarter, we saw less favorable weather compared to last year, but we continue to see benefit from a recovering housing market that drove a stronger-than-expected start to the year for our business.

U.S. same-store sales for the quarter rose 4.8% year-over-year, and the rise for all stores was 4.3%. The totals have been adjusted to exclude a 14th week in the comparable quarter in 2012.

Analysts had been concerned that the colder weather during the quarter would have a negative effect on Home Depot's sales and profits. The CEO did not mention any positive impact from rebuilding in the Northeast following Hurricane Sandy, instead calling out a "recovering housing market" as a driver for the first quarter. That impact should have a longer-lasting effect on Home Depot's business, and investors are quite likely to run the share price higher today, anticipating an even better year ahead.

Shares are up about 4.2% in premarket trading, at $80.00, which would mark a new 52-week high. The current 52-week range is $46.37 to $78.54. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $75.70 before today's results were announced.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Housing Tagged: featured, HD
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