Home Depot Delivers Weak Q1 Earnings

Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) reported fiscal 2014 first-quarter earnings before the market opened today that left a lot to be desired. It seems the winter weather offset improvements in the housing market, as Home Depot missed analyst estimates for both the top and bottom lines. For the period ended May 4, Home Depot reported a profit of $1.00 per share, which is up 12.5% from earnings per share of $0.83 during the same period a year ago.

However, it is important to note that the most recent quarter included a $0.04 benefit to Home Depot's earnings per share related to the sale of HD Supply. Excluding this one-time benefit, the company's EPS for the first quarter were $0.96, which was below analysts' estimates for EPS of $0.99 in the period. Meanwhile, revenue climbed a modest 2.9% to $19.7 billion in the quarter. For comparison, Wall Street was looking for sales of $19.9 billion in the period.

"The first quarter was affected by a slow start to the spring selling season. But we had solid results in non-weather affected markets and expect our sales for the year to grow in line with the guidance we previously provided," said Frank Blake, Home Depot's chairman and chief executive.

Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year increased 3.3%. For the entire company, the metric rose 2.6%. The company had 2,263 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, and Mexico at the end of the first quarter.

The No. 1 home improvement retailer raised its full-year earnings forecast. Home Depot now foresees fiscal 2014 earnings of $4.42 per share. Its prior guidance was for earnings of $4.38 per share.

Shares of Home Depot are down nearly 7% year-to-date.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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