Home Depot cautioned like-for-like sales growth would slow this year in a sign that a slowdown in the US housing market is denting DIY demand.
Shares fell 3.2 per cent in pre-market trading after the US home improvement chain’s fourth quarter sales and profits fell short of Wall Street forecasts.
Figures last week showed US existing home sales dropped 1.2 per cent in January — the slowest pace of growth in more than three years, according to the National Association of Realtors data.
Net sales at Home Depot rose 11 per cent in the three months to the start of February to $26.5bn, shy of the $26.6bn forecast by analysts. The disappointment was notable as the company has a record of delivering better than forecast results. Net earnings came in at $2.34bn compared with $1.78bn in the prior year period.
The company said it expected comparable sales to rise 5 per cent in 2019, a slight slowdown from the 5.2 per cent recorded last year.