Home Depot raises annual sales forecast on steady demand

Analysts were expecting a 1.4% increase

Home Depot Inc. increased its full-year profit forecast on Tuesday as home improvement retailers benefit from higher prices and steady demand for tools and building materials.

The company's shares rose 4% to $307.99 in premarket trading as Home Depot also posted a surprise increase in quarterly same-store sales.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns people took up several do-it-yourself (DIY) home projects and hired professionals to upgrade their homes, lifting sales at Home Depot and smaller rival Lowe's Cos Inc. in 2020.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
HD THE HOME DEPOT INC. 270.29 -12.18 -4.31%
LOW LOWE'S COS. INC. 174.77 -9.43 -5.12%

Sales from DIY customers have slowed with the easing of pandemic-related curbs, according to analysts.

However, demand from home-improvement professionals is holding up despite price increases of products due to higher lumber and copper costs.

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About 40% to 45% of Home Depot's customers are professionals, compared with 20% to 25% for Lowe's, according to brokerage Jefferies.

Home Depot now expects comparable sales to increase about 3% in fiscal 2022, compared with its previous forecast of a slight positive growth. Analysts were expecting a 1.4% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The U.S. housing market remains hot amid tight supply helping sales at Home Depot and Lowe's, even as rising mortgage rates might be a dampener in the coming months.

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Home Depot expects earnings per share growth to be in the mid-single digits percentage range in fiscal 2022, compared with its previous forecast of low-single digits percentage growth.

Expect sales and profit trends at Home Depot to help allay widespread market concerns of easing consumer spending at least for a while, Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel said.

Same-store sales rose 2.2% in the first quarter ended May 1, compared with analysts' estimates of a 2.7% decline.

Home Depot earned $4.09 per share in the reported quarter, beating estimates of $3.68.

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(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)