The Home Depot remained on track in a solid third quarter, although the company said its sales were below expectations and lowered its 2019 sales growth guidance.
The home improvement retailer reported third quarter fiscal 2019 sales of $27.2 billion, an increase of 3.5%, or $921 million, compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2018. Comparable sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 were up 3.6%, and comparable sales in the U.S. were up 3.8%.
Net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 were $2.8 billion, or $2.53 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $2.9 billion, or $2.51 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2018. For the third quarter of fiscal 2019, diluted earnings per share increased 0.8% from the same period in the prior year.
“Our third quarter results reflected broad-based growth across our business, yet sales were below our expectations driven by the timing of certain benefits associated with our One Home Depot strategic investments,” said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president, Home Depot. “We are largely on track with these investments and have seen positive results, but some of the benefits anticipated for fiscal 2019 will take longer to realize than our initial assumptions. As a result, today we are updating our fiscal 2019 sales guidance, and we are reaffirming our fiscal 2019 earnings-per-share guidance. We are encouraged by the momentum in our business as we invest to extend our competitive advantages.”
The company updated its guidance for fiscal 2019, a 52-week year compared to fiscal 2018, a 53-week year. The company expects its fiscal 2019 sales to grow by approximately 1.8% and comp sales for the comparable 52-week period to increase approximately 3.5%. This compares to the company’s prior fiscal 2019 sales growth guidance of 2.3% and comp sales growth of 4%. The company reaffirmed its diluted earnings-per-share guidance for the year and expects diluted earnings-per-share growth of approximately 3.1% from fiscal 2018 to $10.03.