Home Depot’s big gains continue

The world’s largest home improvement retailer posts 25% comps.

The stay-at-home and spend-on-home mentality of consumers led to a record breaking quarter and full year for the world’s largest home improvement retailer.

U.S. comparable store sales held steady at 25.0%, the third consecutive month of 25% comps. For the full year, comparable store sales increased 20.6%.

Sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 were $32.3 billion, an increase of $6.5 billion, or 25.1%, from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. [See Lowe's record Q4 results here.]

Looking ahead to fiscal 2021, Home Depot's expectations are clouded by the uncertainty related to the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its influence on the consumer. The company said it is not providing guidance for fiscal 2021.

However, CFO Richard McPhail added this color: "As we look ahead to fiscal 2021, while we are not able to predict how consumer spending will evolve, if the demand environment during the back half of fiscal 2020 were to persist through fiscal 2021, it would imply flat to slightly positive comparable sales growth and operating margin of at least 14%."  

At the end of the fourth quarter, the company operated a total of 2,296 retail stores. That's one more than it had at the end of the third quarter.

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The bottom line: For the year ended Jan. 31, the company posted net earnings of $12.866 billion, up 14.4% from the prior year.

What the CEO said: “Our ability to grow the business by over $21 billion in fiscal 2020 is a testament to both the investments we have made in the business as well as our associates' unwavering commitment to our customers," said Craig Menear, chairman and CEO. "We continue to lean into these investments because we believe they are critical in enabling market share growth in any economic environment.”

For more information: The company’s Q4 financials are here.