The Atlanta, Ga.-based home improvement retailer posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.17, beating estimates of $1.10. Revenue came in at $20.98 billion, ahead of the $20.39 billion Wall Street was looking for. Comparable-store sales rose 8.9% during the quarter for U.S. locations. Home Depot expects same-store sales growth of 5.1% to 6% in 2016.
"The company is really benefiting from the strong housing market in the U.S.," said Jasper Lawler, a market analyst at CMC Markets in London. "House prices are rising, low interest rates are spurring house buying -- and as people buy houses, they'll want to fix them up," he said. Lawler added that Home Depot benefits from those embracing the "do-it-yourself" mantra.
The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index for December 2015, released on Tuesday, rose 5.4% year over year, compared to 5.2% in November.
Retail sales, a key gauge of consumer spending, rose 0.2% during the month of January, per a report from the U.S. Census Bureau released earlier in February. Plus, gasoline prices have tumbled following the 47% drop in oil prices over the past year. The average price for a gallon of gas is $1.71, compared to $2.30 a year ago, according to AAA. That provides consumers with a significant de facto stimulus.
"Retail sales have been less than expected, given the drop in gasoline prices," Lawler said. "People are not spending on clothing the way they used to, but people are obviously choosing to spend money on their homes."