Home Depot (HD) lowered its full-year sales guidance on Tuesday after posting fiscal-third quarter sales that missed expectations driven by the timing of certain benefits associated with the company’s strategic investments.
Atlanta-based Home Depot, a home-improvement retailer, said it expects full-year sales to gain 1.8%, down from its previous view for growth of 2.3%. Comparable-store sales are expected to rise 3.5%, below its earlier outlook for a 4% gain.
For the quarter ended Nov. 3, sales rose to $27.22 billion from $26.3 billion in the prior-year period, below the consensus compiled by Capital IQ for $27.51 billion. Per-share earnings on a diluted basis rose to $2.53 from $2.51, matching the Street’s view.
Comparable-store sales rose 0.4%, under the Street’s expectations for a 0.9% gain.
“Our third-quarter results reflected broad-based growth across our businesses, yet sales were below our expectations driven by the timing of certain benefits associated with Our Home Depot strategic investments,” said Chief Executive Craig Menear, adding that the guidance cut was due to those initiatives taking longer to pay off.
In the quarter, customer transactions rose 1.5% from last year to 400.9 million while the average ticket gained 1.9% to $66.36. Sales per square foot were $449.2 million, up 3.5%.
Wedbush Securities analyst Seth Basham said “underlying demand also appears less robust based on supplier reports” and indicators for remodeling activity.
“Big-ticket transaction growth was soft in 1H19, and while it likely accelerated slightly in 3Q19, the company faced an easier comparison as it annualizes ticket growth benefit from hurricanes, further suggesting a slowdown in discretionary spending despite lower interest rates that typically spur growth,” Sanders said, adding, “whether this is transitory or the beginning of a new trend is key for the outlook.”
Home Depot’s cost of sales rose 4% from last year to $17.84 billion while selling, general and administrative expenses were $4.94 billion, up 2.8%.