In what is being interpreted as yet another positive signal from the housing market, Home Depot (HD) reported earnings for the first quarter of 2013 that upturned expectations, while updating its fiscal guidance for the remainder of the year.
During Q1, Home Depot took in a profit of $1.2 billion, $0.83 per share on revenue of $19.1 billion, compared to the prior year period during which the company made $1 billion or $0.68 per share on revenue of $17.8 billion. While the numbers were up on last year, they also blew past analyst expectations of $0.77 per share on revenue of $18.69 billion.
The $117.73 billion company employs some 300,000 people in 2,257 stores throughout the United States. CEO Frank Blake cited unfavorable weather as an obstacle throughout the first quarter, but one that was offset by the recovering housing market. Furthermore, the company benefitted from seasonal scheduling changes to the quarter that is responsible for increasing sales some $574 million.
In fact, the company made some $145 million in sales as a result of super storm Sandy, and will probably continue to benefit from the extreme weather events that have taken place since then. Home Depot has also simplified its supply chain, and has made it easier for employees to focus on customer service.
With the average price of the receipt up 5 percent to $57.24, comparable store sales were up over 4 percent, having increased nearly 5 percent in the U.S. alone. The company now expects to extend these gains throughout the remainder of the year, with sales projected to be up 2.8 percent, and comps up 4 percent for the year.
Home Depot also increased its adjusted earnings per share guidance to $3.52 for the year. Shares were trading for as much as $79.36 during the day, an advance of 3 percent and an all-time high for the stock.
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