Home improvement retailing giant Home Depot reported strong first quarter earnings this morning, citing the recovering housing market as a key driver.
Earnings per share were $0.83 versus analysts’ consensus prediction of $0.77. Revenues came in at $19.1 billion, topping estimates for $18.69 billion.
U.S. same-store sales rose 4.8% during the quarter.
“In the first quarter, we saw less favorable weather compared to last year, but we continue to see benefit from a recovering housing market that drove a stronger-than-expected start to the year for our business,” said Home Depot Chairman and CEO Frank Blake in the press release.
Shares are up 3.6% in pre-market trading.
Below is the full text from the release:
ATLANTA, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Home Depot®, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $19.1 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, a 7.4 percent increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Due to the 14th week in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, first quarter sales benefited from a seasonal timing change that added approximately $574 million to sales. On a like for like basis, comparable store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were positive 4.3 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 4.8 percent.
Net earnings for the first quarter were $1.2 billion, or $0.83 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $1.0 billion, or $0.68 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2012. For the first quarter of fiscal 2013, diluted earnings per share increased 22.1 percent from the same period in the prior year.
“In the first quarter, we saw less favorable weather compared to last year, but we continue to see benefit from a recovering housing market that drove a stronger-than-expected start to the year for our business,” said Frank Blake, chairman & CEO. “I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and commitment to our customers.”
Updated Fiscal 2013 Guidance
Based on its year-to-date performance and outlook for the balance of the year, the Company raised its fiscal 2013 sales guidance and now expects sales to be up approximately 2.8 percent with comparable store sales up approximately 4.0 percent for the year. The Company raised its fiscal 2013 diluted earnings-per-share guidance and now expects diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 17 percent to $3.52 for the year. The Company’s fiscal 2013 sales and earnings-per-share guidance is based on a 52-week year compared to fiscal 2012, a 53-week year.
The Company’s earnings-per-share guidance includes the benefit of its year-to-date share repurchases and intent to repurchase $4.4 billion in additional shares over the remainder of the year, which will bring the total dollar amount of shares repurchased to $6.5 billion for the year.
The Home Depot will conduct a conference call today at 9 a.m. ET to discuss information included in this news release and related matters. The conference call will be available in its entirety through a webcast and replay at .
In the movie Remember the Titans, Coach Herman Boone takes his high school football team to the battleground of Gettysburg. Having inherited a fractured and divided squad, Coach Boone implores the players to “take a lesson from the dead. If we don’t come together, right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were.” Coach Boone then establishes the primacy of an important team virtue: “I don’t care if you like each other right now, but you will respect each other.”
In every workplace and on every team, all people have the innate desire to feel appreciated and valued by others. Like Coach Boone, leaders of teams — and team members themselves — should work to foster a culture of value and appreciation.
High performing teams have well-defined goals, systems of accountability, clear roles and responsibilities, and open communication. Just as importantly, teams that foster cohesion with a sense of appreciation and gratitude among the team members maximize performance on a number of dimensions. Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, authors of the Wisdom of Teams, define a high-performing team in part by members’ strong personal commitment to the growth and success of each team member and of the team as a whole.
Research on gratitude and appreciation demonstrates that when employees feel valued, they have high job satisfaction, are willing to work longer hours, engage in productive relationships with co-workers and supervisors, are motivated to do their best, and work towards achieving the company’s goals. Google, which sits atop many best-places-to-work lists, fosters feelings of employee value through an open culture that promotes employee input, routinely rewards and recognizes performance, and encourages personal growth. In a recent interview, CEO Larry Page stated, “My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society.”
And consider the consequences of not fostering a culture of gratitude: A study of over 1,700 employees conducted in 2012 by the American Psychological Association (APA) indicated that more than half of all employees intended to search for new jobs because they felt underappreciated and undervalued.
Several recent articles point out the importance of saying “thank you” and giving specific praise to employees when earned in genuine, honest, and heartfelt ways. Mark Gaston’s blog on How to Give a Meaningful Thank-you is full of great advice such as sharing with employees how their contributions had personal significance for the leader and team.
In addition to these very important gestures of thanks, recent research suggests that a leader can enhance a culture of gratitude in the following ways.
- Help others develop. Interestingly, the APA study indicated that 70% of employees feel valued at work when they have opportunities for growth and development. While promotion opportunities within companies may sometimes be limited, you can still invest in team members’ professional development through training, assignment to new and interesting projects, participation on task forces, and exposure to new and interesting different areas through cross-training. Employees frequently have skills that extend beyond the position for which the company hired them. Additionally, they typically grow their skills over time. Leveraging these broad skill sets can lead to greater engagement and satisfaction.
- Involve employees. Team members feel valued when they have an opportunity to take part in decision-making, problem-solving, and to use their skills to benefit the organization. A 2012 study by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) showed the importance of employees’ opportunities to use skills and abilities, with 63% of respondents listing the ability to use their skills as the top driver of their job satisfaction.
- Support camaraderie and collegiality. I conducted a study many years ago on the positive benefits of friendship in the workplace. Camaraderie in the workplace can lead to greater job satisfaction and commitment to the organization and doing a job well. Leaders should foster collegiality, help to eliminate toxic and dysfunctional team behaviors, and create opportunities for team members other than on work projects. At Google, the games/toys the company provides allow for entertaining and informal interactions among colleagues. These positive and fun feelings carry over when the colleagues work on projects together. The SHRM study in 2012 found employees’ relationships with their co-workers was the second highest factor related to their connection and commitment to the organization. Team leaders may also consider using social contracts, explicit agreements on how team members interact, to help shape positive behaviors within their teams.
Taking the time and effort to create a culture that values and appreciates the diversity and similarity within a team can reap great rewards in terms of performance and satisfaction of the entire team. At the end of the day, this principle is really very simple: we all want to feel valued and appreciated. So, in addition to overt recognition to employees, use a variety of ways to build a culture of gratitude.
Content marketing is part art and part science. It needs to touch hearts and minds.
Anyone can write, the real feat comes not from putting words on paper, but from producing artistically crafted and genuinely interesting pieces of content that evoke a desired emotion from your readers. In Internet marketing, that’s done by creating something informative that leads your customers to a desired action.
Just because anyone has the ability to put words on paper, doesn’t mean they can deliver your message in a concise and convincing manner. Everyone has the ability to write, but that doesn’t mean everyone is a good writer. Quite the contrary, actually. If you’re someone who isn’t confident in your writing ability, it’s time to look for outside help.
But what exactly are you looking for when it comes to hiring a content production specialist?
I get asked this question all the time, so I wanted to take a second to explain exactly what I’m looking for when I’m seeking writing help.
Deadlines are nearly as important as the actual content the writer produces. If you can’t be on time, then you’re just causing more work for me and I can’t have that. I don’t have time to chase you down looking for content that I assigned a week ago and I’m sure most business owners feel the same way.
A good writer has a definitive voice. In short, you can typically tell they wrote something by their style and delivery. I tend to avoid generic content writers as they are a dime a dozen. I’m looking for something distinctive in a writer’s delivery and ability to tell a story. This writer stands out from the pack by being creative, unique and a cut above the rest.
It’s a hard characteristic to describe, but you’ll know it when you see it.
Writing academic papers might require a more fact-driven and dry approach than producing blog content. A good writer knows how to differentiate the two. Good writers are able to adapt their voice and style based on where the content is being published. Bad writers carry the same style across all formats and this doesn’t really lend itself to producing content across multiple channels. They might be great at blogging, but you’ll need a second writer to produce whitepapers, e-books or research papers.
I typically like writers who are adaptable enough to create content across multiple channels as well as in different formats.
The best content uses statistics or facts to drive home the point the writer is trying to convey. Does your writer use numbers or facts in his writing? If it looks like the writer could open up Word and write the article without referencing anything, the content generally isn’t up to the standard we’re looking for. We want someone who can research any topic in order to produce a great piece of content.
Obviously they aren’t going to be experts at everything, but you won’t be able to tell based on their writing alone.
I don’t want a writer who is booked solid weeks in advance. I need someone that has the flexibility to deliver content when I need it. We’re not talking about placing unreasonable demands on time, but a 500-word blog post isn’t something I want to wait a week for. If the writer can’t turn around most short projects within 48 hours or so, I tend to move on to those who can. This is one of the most profound arguments for hiring professional, full-time writers rather than hobbyists and those that use content as a means to derive a second form of income.
Finding writers isn’t easy, and finding good writers is exponentially harder. It’s much easier to retain a good writer once you have him, than it is to find another one once he moves on to greener pastures. Find yourself a writer that produces above average content and do whatever it takes to keep him happy. In the age of content marketing, it’s a writer’s world; we’re just living in it.
Guest Author : Chris Warden, CEO of Spread Effect, a leading content marketing and publishing house company.
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Bedford NY Weekly Real Estate Report
Homes for sale 79
Median Ask Price $1,249,000.00
Low Price $399,000.00
High Price $14,500,000.00
Average Size 4415
Average Price/foot $384.00
Average DOM 146
Average Ask Price $1,727,563.00