Home Depot (HD) posted weaker-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Tuesday thanks in part to a $247 million charge linked to Interline brands division while forecast slower 2019 profit growth.
Home Depot said earnings for the three months ending in January, the company's fiscal fourth quarter, came in at $2.09 per share, up 37.5% from the same period last year but just shy of the Street consensus of $2.16 per share. Group revenues rose 10.9% to $26.5 billion but again missing the consensus estimate. Home Depot said it took a 16 cent charge against its quarter earnings linked to its Interline Brands division, which it acquired in 2015.
Looking into 2019, Home Depot said it sees comparable sales growth of around 5%, following a fourth quarter rate of around 3.2% and a U.S. pace of 3.7%. It also sees full-year 2019 earnings to grow just 3.1% to $10.03 per share, well shy of the $10.26 Refinitiv forecast, and overall revenues to grow 3.3%, down from the 7.2% gain over the 2018 fiscal year that suggests a total of $111.77 billion.
"We achieved record sales and net earnings in fiscal 2018, while making great progress on the strategic investments we laid out in December of 2017. We focused on enhancing the interconnected retail experience for our customers, providing localized and innovative product, and delivering best in class productivity," said CEO Craig Menear. "Our view on the health of the economy and the consumer, as well as the momentum of our strategic investments, supports our belief that we can deliver comparable sales growth of 5.0 percent in fiscal 2019. I would like to thank our associates for their solid execution and exceptional work in service to our customers."
Home Depot shares were down 1.6% in trading Tuesday to $187.02.