Expect Home Depot to Nail Fourth-Quarter Earnings

By Glenn Curtis  FEB 22, 2010 8:10 AM

Six reasons the home-improvement company is sturdy.


On the one hand, I can’t wait till spring because of the warmer weather. On the other hand, part of me is actively rooting for six more weeks of winter. The reason for the mixed feelings: I have to pick up a new lawnmower, buy driveway blacktop, and get some shingles for the storage shed in the backyard. When it’s done, everything will look nice. But doing the work and spending the money isn’t exactly something I’m looking forward to.

The point is, with the warmer weather just around the corner, and a generally more economically confident population, I think many people will be contemplating sizable projects around their homes or at their places of business. This is why I’m getting more exited about Home Depot (HD) and its primary nemesis, the blue-apron folks at Lowe’s (LOW).

Here are some additional thoughts regarding Home Depot, which will come into the spotlight when it offers up its fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

1. In the spring, contractors will be getting more work than they have in a long time, and I see individuals opening their wallets to replace worn-out appliances and household items after having held off on bigger-ticket purchases for a long period of time. I see Home Depot anticipating a payday.

2. Drilling down deeper, the chain has pummeled Street expectations over the last four quarters, and I think more upside surprises may be in store here this year. Additionally, I think the $1.73-per-share estimate that’s out there could end up being light by as much as a dime. And yes -- I think the company will beat the fourth-quarter estimate of $0.16. My hunch is that will turn in $0.18.

3. Estimates have been ratcheting up, which helped put the company on my radar screen.

4. I haven’t heard anyone mention it, but let’s not forget the nice little dividend it nails up.

5. I’m excited about the earnings, its prospects going forward, and I see this as a $35 or $40 stock.

6. Incidentally, I’m banking on Sears (SHLD) doing well, too, this upcoming spring season given its prowess in popular appliances, tools, and related wares. (Although admittedly, the rest of its business leaves a lot to be desired.)

Hey, have a great day!
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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