Shares of Home Depot (HD) are higher after the company topped estimates with its costs firmly under control.
The company's performance in maintaining store traffic during a tough weather period is even more impressive considering the tough comparable it came up against with Superstorm Sandy recovery a significant factor a year ago.
HD +2.0% premarket, while rival Lowe's (LOW) is getting a 1% sympathy boost. Lowe's has its turn to release Q4 numbers tomorrow.
Shares of Home Depot (HD) move 4.3% higher premarket after the retailer beats earnings and raises its guidance. The company benefited from strength in the housing recovery which seemed to trump the disruptions from weather and late tax refunds that plagued other retailers. Customer traffic was up 2.5% during the period while the average ticket rose a brisk 5%.
More on Home Depot (HD): Earnings beat expectations on both the top and bottom line as Q1 revenues rise 7.4% Y/Y. A "seasonal timing change" adds $574M to sales. Comps growth comes in at 4.3% (4.8% in the U.S.). "Less favorable" weather conditions were more than offset by a "recovering housing market," CEO Frank Blake says. HD raises its FY13 outlook, saying it sees 2.8% sales growth, 4% comps growth, and EPS of $3.52 (consensus is $3.54). Shares +2.92% premarket. (PR)
Lowe's (LOW +3.4%) gets a lift from ISI Group on the firm's view that margins could go from 7% to 10% as productivity improves. A normalization in sales would also allow the retailer to support share price with new buybacks and dividend hikes. Shares of Lowe's are rated a Buy by ISI, although it still sees Home Depot (HD +0.2%) as the more attractive stock in the home improvement space.
Home Depot (HD +1.7%) trades higher early after Jefferies upgrades the shares to Buy from Hold citing a bullish sales outlook. "Our checks continue to come back favorably," Jefferies says, "weather will not impede" strong Q1 comps. New price target is $85. Competitor Lowe's (LOW +0.5%) is higher by association. (See also: Home garden sales tip in March)
Oppenheimer upgrades Home Depot (HD) to an Outperform rating due to what it sees as strong housing trends. The firm raises its price target on shares by $9 to take it to $76. HD +1.2% premarket to $65.15.
Shares of Home Depot (HD) get a little lift after rival Lowe's reports earnings., moving up 1.2% premarket to $62.75. The buzz on the company as of late is that it will catch more Black Friday business this year than in years past.
More on Home Depot's (HD) Q3: The company showed broadly better-than-expected results for the quarter with the slow housing recovery as a backdrop. No specific breakdown on the impact of Hurricane Sandy on sales is issued. The company's square footage flat was flat for the period. Pacing its growth, the number of transactions increased 1.7% Y/Y while the average ticket size grew up 2.9% to $54.55 - marking the best growth rate for ticket size in four years. Conference call scheduled for 9:00 AM EST (webcast). Shares of HD -0.4% premarket. (PR)
Home Depot (HD) moves up 3.6% in premarket action with the company reporting a huge amount of products have been moved to East Coast stores in response to storm-related demand. Though Jim Cramer sees a trap for buyers with most of the extra home Depot sales already priced in, other traders see value as a bigger impact is in store for the retailer as the storm cleanup exceeds most expectations.