There is plenty of economic uncertainty in the world today. However, one thing is for sure: Consumers are still spending money. Empowered with cash from multiple fiscal stimulus payments, folks are not shy about shopping.
Indeed, consumption expenditures were up 19% in May from the same time last year, following a 29% increase in April. And it appears like folks have more money to spend. Despite the surge in spending over the last few months, the personal savings rate in the U.S. remains far above pre-pandemic levels.
One area that has experienced the benefit of the splurge is home improvement. Understandably so, the home has become a vital part of people's lives since the onset of the pandemic, and that trend is not likely to reverse anytime soon. So it might be a good time to start considering Home Depot (NYSE:HD) stock for your portfolio.
No home improvement fatigue here
Sales are surging for Home Depot alongside the rise in consumer spending. In fact, in the first quarter Home Depot reported a 32.7% increase in revenue from the same quarter last year. The boost is spilling over into the second quarter as well. Here is what CFO Richard McPhail had to say on the matter on the company's Q1 2021 earnings call:
Moving to the broader demand environment for home improvement ... the strong demand that we've seen for more than a year now has continued. During the first two weeks of May, on a 2-year stacked basis, we've seen comps in the U.S. above 30 percent. Housing remains strong, homeowners' balance sheets are healthy, and our customers continue to tell us that they are planning on spending on a variety of home improvement projects.
Interestingly, even as states are easing business restrictions, folks are maintaining spending habits developed during the pandemic. Great news for Home Depot because it has been one of the prime beneficiaries. Some investors were worried that consumers would face home-improvement fatigue after taking on several projects while cooped up at home.
In fact, as more folks are getting vaccinated and the number of people getting infected with COVID-19 is declining, folks are getting comfortable allowing professionals into their homes for larger projects. Those were mostly on pause during the most acute phases of stay-at-home orders. Indeed, contractors are telling Home Depot that demand is so strong that backlogs are growing.
What this could mean for investors
It's evident Home Depot is thriving during the pandemic. However, it was doing very well up until the onset. Over the last decade, Home Depot grew revenue at a compounded annual rate of 6.9%. And it operated efficiently enough to turn that into annual earnings-per-share growth of 19.5% in that same time.
There is no doubt that some changes caused by the pandemic are going to stick around long term. Working from home at least part of the week is one of them. So, as long as the home continues to be an important part of people's lives, Home Depot will do well. Still, many investors are expecting sales to pull back substantially at some point. That could be an opportunity to start accumulating shares of Home Depot stock.