The Home Depot, Inc. Beats 2Q Expectations

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) is up 4.5% in trading today after releasing second quarter earnings that solidly beat consensus expectations. Like most retailers Home Depot had a difficult first quarter caused by an exceptionally long and cold winter, but now that weather is no longer an excuse retailers are able to differentiate themselves once again, and Home Depot looks to be near the top of the heap.

“In the second quarter, our spring seasonal business rebounded, and we saw strong performance in the core of the store and across all of our geographies,” said The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) CEO Frank Blake.

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Home Depot’s diluted EPS up 22.6% year-on-year

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) reported comparable store sales up 5.8% for the company as a whole and up 6.4% among US stores, pushing sales to $23.8 billion for the quarter, an increase of 5.7% over 2Q13. Gross profits were also up 5.7% from $7.7 billion in 2Q13 to $8.2 billion in 2Q14. Net earnings increased 14.2% year-on-year to $2.1 billion for 2Q14 for a diluted EPS of $1.52, a 22.6% increase over 2Q13.

Numbers for the half were quite a bit worse as you would expect, but still showed growth over 2013. The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) posted net sales hit $43.5 billion and gross profit reached $15 billion for 1H14, a 4.4% and 4.5% increase respectively over 1H13. Net earnings for the half increased 13.5% from $3 billion in 1H13 to $3.4 billion 1H14, an impressive recovery from the dragging first quarter sales.

Number and value of sales both on the upswing

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) also broke out its sales information into a couple of different categories that show it really is making progress on all fronts. First, the number of customer transaction increased from 393 million in 2Q13 to 410 million in 2Q14, although it wasn’t clear exactly how much of this was from greater foot traffic versus better conversions of foot traffic to sales.

The average ticket also increased 1.8% year-on-year. While that’s not terribly impressive, it has to be viewed in context of a highly promotional sales environment that has been putting pressure on many other retailers’ margins and weak wage growth that has been translating into weak consumer spending growth. Finally, sales per square foot is up 5.5% year-on-year, a good sign that The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) is relying on efficient sales instead of cost-heavy sales growth.