Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) is one of the most attractive stocks to invest in 2018. The stock is up about 14% in the last 6 months. Home Depot started working on its digital presence in 2014. As of the end of 2017, about 60% of the company’s total sales are influenced by e-commerce. Home Depot is expected to cross 1.8 billion visits this year. The home improvement equipment and services company has increased its online business by $1 billion per year over the past four years.
In the fourth quarter, Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) comparable-store sales increased by 7.5%. Foot traffic also surged by 2%, which shows that Home Depot’s brick-and-mortar stores are still up and running, as Americans are focusing more on renovating their houses instead of buying new ones. The trend is going to heat up further as housing costs are skyrocketing, and millennials are not buying new homes. Research showed that Americans were expected to spend $316 billion into home remodeling in 2017, compared to $296 billion a year earlier.
For 2018, Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) gave an upbeat forecast. The company expects same-store sales growth of 5.0% in the year, while EPS growth is expected to come in at 28%. Home Depot also announced a quarterly dividend of $1.03, which shows a massive, 15.7% increase.
Apart from the digital transformation decision of 2014 that proved to be fateful down the road, Home Depot also made some very smart acquisitions, which have started to pay off. The company acquired Interline Brands in 2015. The company is a leading wholesale distributor for maintenance, repair, and operations. Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) is slowly improving its deliveries and inventories after this deal. Home Depot also bought online business of The Company Store. With this buyout, Home Depot tapped into products like bedding, rugs, pillows and other items that are useful to homes.
Strategic Wealth Partners’ Mark Tepper said last month that Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) is not under threat from the rising rates by the Federal Reserve. The housing market conditions will not result in any decline in the home renovation industry. Tepper said that Home Depot’s web and app redesigns resulted in a 19% increase in online sales year over year. Cleveland Research also believes that Home Depot’s fourth quarter results show increasing margins and progress. The firm thinks that the company is outshining Lowe’s.