Home Depot’s fourth-quarter earnings and sales beat Wall Street estimates, as the home improvement giant benefited from higher home values and a stronger economy.
The company boosted its dividend by 29% to 89 cents per share and announced a repurchase program totalling $15 billion. Management’s guidance projects earnings per share of $7.13 for full-year 2017.
Analysts were expecting the full-year forecast to come in at $7.17 per share.
Shares of Home Depot were up by 1.4% in premarket trading.
The retailer posted $1.44 earnings per share on $1.74 billion in net earnings for the fourth quarter, beating estimates of $1.34 per share.
Home Depot posted net earnings of $1.47 billion, or $1.17 per share, the previous year.
Revenue came in at $22.21 billion, also beating estimates of $21.8 billion. Comparable sales increased by 5.8%, far surpassing the expected 3.7% increase.
Comparable sales were higher compared to the previous quarter, but still came in lower than the 7.1% increase posted during the same period last year.
Warmer weather in the final quarter of 2015 allowed homeowners and contractors to continue working on home projects throughout the winter.
“Our focus on providing localized and innovative product selection, improving the interconnected customer experience, and driving productivity resulted in record sales and net earnings for 2016,” said Home Depot CEO Craig Menear.
A stronger economy and rising home values have encouraged consumers to invest in home improvements. Homebuilding in the U.S. increased by 11.3% in December, helping boost Home Depot’s results.
The number of transactions and the amount spent by shoppers increased by 2.9% in the fourth quarter.
For full-year 2017, the home improvement retailer expects comparable sales and revenue to increase by 4.6%. While the earnings forecast was just shy of Wall Street’s estimates, analysts believe the projection is on the conservative side.
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