Futures dropped a bit as core PPI for April was a stronger than expected.
1) Home Depotbeat estimates, reporting earnings of $0.41 (14 percent below last year's $0.48), vs. consensus estimates of $0.37.
Despite the apparent beat, the stock is down 3 percent:
a) the company gave no guidance, though they may say something on the conference call;
b) a calendar change may have been the reason for the beat. There were a number of analysts, including Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, noted that they traded a lower volume week this year (in February) and included a higher volume week (in April). That helped growth by $536mm or 2.9%. According to Deutsche Bank, "We're not sure if HD's comp result is adjusted, but our guess is that it is not, meaning the shift accounted for the sequential improvement in comps."
Adjusted for this calendar shift, same store sales fell 9 to 9.4 percent, according to Goldman.
Bottom line: like Lowe's , Home Depot is also experiencing notably weaker sales.
On the conference call, they have been talking about "significant" commodity cost pressures and "relatively weak demand."
2) Staples earnings were in-line.Though Staples also had a decline in comp store sales (down 6 percent), European comp store sales were up 4 percent, they came in in line with estimates and reiterated their full year outlook.
3) Autozone beat expectations. Same-store sales were down 0.3 percent, a tad shy of expectations.
4) Lehman joining other firms in raising target prices on oil service names like Baker Hughers and Cooper Cameron reflecting, they, say, "a strong recovery in 2008 and 2009 for North American natural gas drilling and substantial growth internationally over the next few years."
5) Barclaysis considering acquisition of banks including UBS or Lehman Brothers, according to unsourced sources being used at the Daily Telegraph in London. The purchase would be funded by a large rights issue that would also have the purpose of shoring up the balance sheet.
6) JP Morgan and Fannie Mae hold their annual shareholder meetings.
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