NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Home Depot (HD) - Get Home Depot, Inc. (HD) Report , the world's largest retailer of home-improvement products, is still building for the future. And with fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results due out Tuesday, investors should build their positions in the stock.
The Atlanta-based company, whose corporate slogan says, "More saving. More doing," no longer wants to be regarded as the best home-improvement big box retailer. With annual sales of $78.8 billion, which is almost 50% higher than rival Lowe's (LOW) - Get Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW) Report ($53.4 billion), that's tough to dispute. Home Depot is also becoming a player in e-commerce, which bodes well for shareholders.
Home Depot stock closed Friday at $112.24, up 1.17% -- near its record high of $112.45, reached on Feb.19. The shares are up 7% year to date, besting both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and the S&P 500 (SPX) , which have gained 1.78% and 2.5%, respectively. But it's not yet time to cash in.
Home Depot's management team, led by new CEO Craig Menear, has taken a page out of Amazon's (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report playbook and is looking to reach customers from any part of the world. By opening new direct fulfillment centers, Home Depot will also reduce its operating costs in the process.
These fulfillment facilities will be used to ship products directly to online shoppers. These consumers can then pick up (or exchange) their products at various physical Home Depot locations. It's a sound concept. This is yet one of the innovative ways Home Depot plans to simplify the shopping experience.
What's more, the company is working quickly to cut costs and centralize its distribution centers. These initiatives will help Home Depot offset any near-term currency headwinds caused by the strength of the U.S. dollar. Not to mention, severe winter weather that may impact in-store traffic.
On that note, however, Home Depot is likely to benefit from higher demand for winter equipment, like snow shovels and generators. Not to mention, the strong rebound in the housing market. And with the company growing earnings last year at 25% and revenue at 5%, its market capitalization of almost $150 billion, compared with $71 billion for Lowe's, does not hinder its growth as initially perceived.
On Tuesday, for the quarter than ended in January, analysts expect Home Depot to deliver a 22% year-over-year jump in earnings per share, reaching 89 cents, while revenue is projected to grow 5.6% year over year to $18.7 billion. For the full year, earnings are projected to be $4.49 per share, up 19%, while revenue is projected to grow 5% year over year to $82.7 billion.
Over the next five years, Home Depot, which has a consensus buy rating, is projected to grow earnings at an annual rate of 16%. Considering revenue is growing at just 5% annually, this indicates the company plans to buy back more stock, which, when combined with its 1.67% dividend yield means it's still building long-term value for shareholders.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.