Can Home Depot Buck Economic Headwinds in Q3?

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November 14, 2016 2:56pm NYSE:HD

Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) will deliver its third quarter earnings report before the market opens on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Here’s what investors should look for.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected the Atlanta-based company to report Q3 EPS of $1.58, with revenues rise 6% from last year to $23 billion. For the full year 2016, analysts are looking for $6.33 per share, with 6% revenue growth to $94.15 billion.

Last quarter, HD lifted its full-year EPS outlook to $6.31, up from a prior forecast of $6.27, citing better expense controls. It will be interesting to see if the the company boosts its full-year target again this time around.

As of a few months ago, Home Depot expected full-year sales to rise 6.3% to about $94.1 billion, with same-store sales growth of 4.9%. Same-store sales, also known as comparable sales, are considered a key indicator of a brick-and-mortar retailer’s performance, since they measure only the results from stores open at least 12 months.

Home Depot is often looked at as a bellwether for the U.S. economy as a whole, since construction projects and home remodels are generally bullish signs for economic activity. The company may also benefit from president-elect Trump’s big infrastructure spending plan.

Analysts at JP Morgan put out a note today that wasn’t so bullish, however, noting:

“Investor sentiment for Home Depot and Lowe’s has soured due to cyclical concerns as indicated by softness in year-over-year existing home sales (+0.3% quarter-to-date versus +5% in the first half of 2016), greater demand volatility, and questionable category weakness (for example, paint appliances, and rough plumbing and electrical.”

So, will the company be able to buck economic headwinds, or will results disappoint? Stay tuned here tomorrow morning, when we’ll have full coverage of HD’s report.

Home Depot shares fell $2.40 (-1.85%) to $127.45 in Monday afternoon trading. Year-to-date, HD has fallen 3.17%, versus a 6% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

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