The Home Depot Q1 Results Up

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, reported sales of $28.3 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, a 7.1 percent increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Comparable sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 were positive 6.4 percent, and comparable sales in the U.S. were positive 7.5 percent.

"As the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, we anchored to the core values of our Company by focusing on two key priorities: working to ensure the safety and well-being of our associates and customers, and providing our customers and communities with essential products.  We took early and decisive action to intentionally limit customer traffic in our stores which we believe had a significant impact to sales in many markets," said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO, and president. "Even with these actions, the robust and flexible interconnected infrastructure that we have invested in for over a decade allowed us to quickly adapt to changing customer preferences and achieve strong sales performance in the quarter."

In support of these two objectives, the Company took several actions to prioritize safety and enhance associate benefits. To promote a safe environment for associates and customers, the Company implemented a number of operational changes in mid-March, including closing stores earlier to allow more time for sanitation and replenishing of essential products, limiting customer traffic in stores, and canceling traffic-driving events such as Spring Black Friday.

To support its associates during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company took the following actions:

Expanded paid time off for all hourly associates with additional hours that can be used at their discretion and will be paid out at year-end if not used;

Provided additional paid time off for associates who are 65 and older or deemed to be at higher risk according to CDC guidelines;

Provided weekly bonuses for hourly associates in our stores and distribution centers, and doubled overtime pay; and

Extended dependent care benefits and waived related co-pays.

As a result of the actions taken to support our associates, the Company incurred a total of approximately $850 million of pre-tax expense, or approximately $640 million after tax, equaling $0.60 per diluted share.

Net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 were $2.2 billion, or $2.08 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $2.5 billion, or $2.27 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2019.  For the first quarter of fiscal 2020, diluted earnings per share decreased 8.4 percent from the same period in the prior year.

"I want to thank our associates and express how grateful and proud I am of the resilience and strength that our teams have demonstrated as we navigate these extraordinary circumstances together," said Menear.

Fiscal 2020 Guidance

While sales trends were strong at the end of the first quarter and into the first two weeks of the second quarter, as a result of the uncertainty related to the duration of COVID-19 and its impact on the broader economy, the Company is suspending its previously communicated fiscal 2020 guidance.

Dividend Declaration

The Company announced that its board of directors declared a first quarter cash dividend of $1.50 per share. The dividend is payable on June 18, 2020, to shareholders of record on the close of business on June 4, 2020. This is the 133rd consecutive quarter the Company has paid a cash dividend.