FINANCE

Late spring puts damper on Home Depot’s Q1 sales

BY Marianne Wilson

A late start to the spring selling season took a toll on The Home Depot’s first quarter sales, but the company still reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations.

The Atlanta-based retail giant posted first quarter net sales of $24.9 billion, up 4.4% from the year-ago period but less than the $25.2 billion the Street expected. Total same-store sales rose 4.2%, also less than expected. It was the chain’s 28 consecutive quarter of positive comps, but also the lowest increase since the second quarter of 2015, which also registered 4.2%.

The company’s net income swelled to $2.4 billion, compared to $2.0 billion in the first quarter of 2017. Earnings per share were $2.08, versus the $2.05 per share that the Street expected.

“We are pleased by the strength of our business despite a slow start to the spring selling season,” said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president. “Outside of our seasonal business, we had solid results in all markets and categories and are seeing strong momentum in all lines of business during these first few weeks of May. These trends, as well as a favorable housing and macroeconomic backdrop, give us confidence to reaffirm our sales and earnings guidance for fiscal 2018.”

Home Depot reaffirmed its previous forecasts for 2018. It expects sales to rise roughly 6.5% and same-store sales to increase about 5%.

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