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The Home Depot Reports 3.2% Rise in Q4 Like-For-Like Sales

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The Home Depot®, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $26.5 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, a 10.9 percent increase from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Comparable sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 were positive 3.2 percent, and comp sales in the U.S. were positive 3.7 percent.

The fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 consisted of 14 weeks compared with 13 weeks for the prior year. The 14th week added approximately $1.7 billion in sales for the quarter and the year. The additional week is not included in comparable sales results for the quarter or the year.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 were $2.3 billion, or $2.09 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $1.8 billion, or $1.52 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2017. The 14th week added approximately $0.21 per diluted share for the quarter and year.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter and the year were negatively impacted by a nonrecurring, pre-tax charge of approximately $247 million, or $184 million after tax equaling $0.16 per diluted share, due to an impairment loss related to certain trade names at Interline Brands.

Fiscal 2018

Sales for fiscal 2018 were $108.2 billion, an increase of 7.2 percent from fiscal 2017. Total company comparable sales for fiscal 2018 increased 5.2 percent, and comp sales in the U.S. were positive 5.4 percent for the year.

Earnings per diluted share in fiscal 2018 were $9.73, compared to $7.29 per diluted share in fiscal 2017, an increase of 33.5 percent.

"We achieved record sales and net earnings in fiscal 2018, while making great progress on the strategic investments we laid out in December of 2017. We focused on enhancing the interconnected retail experience for our customers, providing localized and innovative product, and delivering best in class productivity," said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president. "Our view on the health of the economy and the consumer, as well as the momentum of our strategic investments, supports our belief that we can deliver comparable sales growth of 5.0 percent in fiscal 2019. I would like to thank our associates for their solid execution and exceptional work in service to our customers."

Dividend Declaration and Share Repurchase Authorization

The Company today announced that its board of directors declared a 32.0 percent increase in its quarterly dividend to $1.36per share.

"As a testament to our commitment to create value for our shareholders and a demonstration of confidence in the business going forward, the board has increased the dividend for the tenth consecutive year," said Menear. The dividend is payable on March 28, 2019, to shareholders of record on the close of business on March 14, 2019. This is the 128th consecutive quarter the Company has paid a cash dividend.

The board of directors also authorized a new $15 billion share repurchase program, replacing its previous authorization.

Fiscal 2019 Guidance

The Company provided the following guidance for fiscal 2019, a 52-week year compared to fiscal 2018, a 53-week year:

  • Comparable sales growth of approximately 5.0 percent for the comparable 52-week period
  • Sales growth of approximately 3.3 percent
  • Five net new stores
  • Gross margin of approximately 34.0 percent
  • Operating margin of approximately 14.4 percent
  • Net interest expense of approximately $1.2 billion
  • Tax rate of approximately 25.5 percent
  • Share repurchases of approximately $5.0 billion
  • Diluted earnings-per-share growth of approximately 3.1 percent to $10.03
  • Capital spending of approximately $2.7 billion
  • Depreciation and amortization expense of approximately $2.3 billion
  • Cash flow from the business of approximately $14.1 billion

Long-Term Financial Targets

Today the Company reaffirms its fiscal 2020 financial targets as follows:

  • Total sales ranging from approximately $115 billion to approximately $120 billion  
  • Operating margin ranging from approximately 14.4 percent to approximately 15.0 percent
  • Return on invested capital of more than 40 percent

Source : Insight DIY Team and the Home Depot

Image : ThreeRivers11 /

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26 February 2019

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