Home Depot released the earnings results from its first fiscal quarter before opening bell this morning, posting adjusted earnings of $1.16 per share or $1.58 billion and $20.9 billion in net sales, a 6.1% year over year increase. Analysts had been looking for earnings per share of $1.15 and $20.8 billion in revenue.
In the same quarter a year ago, the home improvement retail chain reported earnings of $1 per share on $19.7 billion in sales.
Key metrics from Home Depot’s earnings report
Net earnings were $1.21 per share, including a benefit of 5 cents per share or $71 million related to a tax audit settlement. Comparable store sales increased 6.1% during the quarter. U.S. comparable store sales increased 7.1%. Average ticket size increased 1.8% during the quarter, rising to $58.60. Management cited the improving housing market in the U.S. as the main reason for their strong first quarter.
“We had a stronger than expected start to the year as we experienced a more normal spring across much of the country and continued recovery of the U.S. housing market,” Home Depot Chairman, President and CEO Craig Menear said in a statement. “I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication.”
Home Depot also said it will buy back $3.4 billion worth of its shares during the current fiscal year.
Home Depot raises guidance
Home Depot also increased its guidance for full year earnings. The retail chain expects earnings per share to be between $5.24 and $5.27 per share for the full year. Management’s previous guidance was between $5.11 and $5.17 per share. They have included the tax audit settlement benefit in their estimate for the year.
However, they did not include contingent losses related to the data breach that was uncovered in September. Home Depot reported that the first quarter included $7 million in costs related to the breach but that it is unable to estimate future costs related to the breach.
The company expects sales growth of between 4.2% and 4.8%, compared to the previous projection of growth between 3.5% and 4.7%.
Shares of Home Depot slipped by as much as 1.16% in premarket trading, falling to $113 per share.