U.S. Markets closed

Edited Transcript of HD earnings conference call or presentation 20-Aug-19 1:00pm GMT

Q2 2019 Home Depot Inc Earnings Call

ATLANTA Aug 26, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Home Depot Inc earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 1:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

================================================================================

Corporate Participants

================================================================================

* Ann-Marie Campbell

The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of U.S. Stores

* Carol B. Tomé

The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services

* Craig A. Menear

The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President

* Edward P. Decker

The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of Merchandising

* Isabel Janci

The Home Depot, Inc. - VP of IR & Treasurer

* Mark Q. Holifield

The Home Depot, Inc. - Executive VP of Supply Chain & Product Development

* Richard V. McPhail

The Home Depot, Inc. - SVP of Finance Control & Administration

================================================================================

Conference Call Participants

================================================================================

* Charles P. Grom

Gordon Haskett Research Advisors - MD & Senior Analyst of Retail

* Christopher Michael Horvers

JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Senior Analyst

* Gregory Scott Melich

Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD

* Karen Fiona Short

Barclays Bank PLC, Research Division - Research Analyst

* Michael Lasser

UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - MD and Equity Research Analyst of Consumer Hardlines

* Scot Ciccarelli

RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - Analyst

* Seth Ian Sigman

Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - United States Hardline Retail Equity Research Analyst

* Simeon Ari Gutman

Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Executive Director

* Steven Paul Forbes

Guggenheim Securities, LLC, Research Division - Analyst

* Zachary Robert Fadem

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst

================================================================================

Presentation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Greetings, and welcome to The Home Depot Second Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Isabel Janci. Please go ahead.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Isabel Janci, The Home Depot, Inc. - VP of IR & Treasurer [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, and good morning, everyone. Joining us on our call today are Craig Menear, Chairman, CEO and President; Ted Decker, Executive Vice President of Merchandising; and Carol Tomé, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Services.

Following our prepared remarks, the call will be open for questions. Questions will be limited to analysts and investors. (Operator Instructions) If we are unable to get to your question during the call, please call our Investor Relations department at (770) 384-2387.

Before I turn the call over to Craig, let me remind you that today's press release and the presentations made by our executives include forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations and projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors identified in the release and in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Today's presentation will also include certain non-GAAP measures. Reconciliation of these measures is provided on our website.

Now let me turn the call over to Craig.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, Isabel, and good morning, everyone. Sales for the second quarter were $30.8 billion, up 1.2% from last year. Comp sales were up 3% from last year with U.S. comps of positive 3.1%. Diluted earnings per share were $3.17 in the second quarter. We're pleased with these results. We overcame a tough May and continued lumber price deflation to deliver accelerating comp performance throughout the quarter.

Looking at our results geographically. All of our U.S. divisions posted positive comps. 17 of 19 U.S. regions also posted positive comps, with the exceptions being our Gulf and Florida regions, which delivered high storm-related comps last year. Internationally, Mexico posted high single-digit positive comp, and Canada posted low single-digit positive comp, both in local currency.

We saw broad-based growth across the stores. Both comp ticket and transactions grew. With the exception of lumber, all of our merchandising departments posted positive comps. We saw a healthy balance of growth among both Pro and DIY categories, with Pro sales outpacing our DIY business in the U.S. As Ted will detail, we continue to invest in our portfolio of service offerings to deepen our level of engagement with the Pro. We know that the more dimensional our relationship is with this customer, the more they spend.

From a strategic perspective, I'm encouraged by the progress we are making to deliver the One Home Depot experience: a seamless, interconnected shopping experience for our customers. Our in-store investments are focused on ease of navigation and improved speed to check out. We have implemented our way-finding sign and store refresh package in over 1,400 of our U.S. stores. And customer service scores in the category of neat and clean have increased 140 basis points. Our front-end store investments, now in over 400 stores, are designed to get customers in and out of stores faster. And they are doing just that. Customer service scores and checkout time satisfaction have increased over 450 basis points versus last year.

While our stores remain the hub of our business, we know that many of our in-store sales are influenced by online visits. And approximately 50% of all online U.S. orders were picked up in our stores during the quarter. Our customers continue to blend the channels of engagement, and we are investing to remove the friction as they do so. We continue to roll out automated pickup lockers for online orders with over 1,100 stores completed and have seen a 250 basis point increase in checkout scores for stores with lockers versus those without.

Our investment in the digital price labels for our appliance department has enabled us to incorporate ratings and reviews from the digital world into the store shopping experience, enhancing the overall customer experience in the category.

As we invest to address the unique demands of an interconnected customer experience in stores, we also continue to invest in our website and mobile applications to further enhance the digital customer experience. Our focus on improving search capabilities, site functionality, category presentation and product content has yielded higher traffic, better conversion and continued sales growth. Second quarter online sales grew 20% from the second quarter of 2018. We also continue to leverage our digital platforms to drive incremental growth from new categories as we lean into adjacencies like HD Home, pool and workwear.

The traction we are seeing from investments across our digital and physical assets are encouraging, not only from a customer experience standpoint, but they are also driving productivity throughout the business. Our front-end investments are optimizing labor and merchandising space productivity. Digital appliance labels enable associates to be more productive with their time. Instead of spending multiple hours manually changing price signs, our associates can reallocate their time to engage with customers in a high-touch category. The virtuous cycle of productivity at The Home Depot has been a hallmark of our operational excellence over the years and continues as we move forward.

Our focus on enhancing the customer experience and end-to-end productivity extends to the supply chain investments as well. During the quarter, we completed the retrofit of our Hagerstown facility into a partial direct fulfillment center, which expands our 1-day delivery capabilities for stock parcel goods from approximately 30% to approximately 50% of the U.S. population. We also drove productivity and cost out through our [mechanization] efforts in our upstream supply chain. We are on track with our plans to create the fastest, most efficient delivery network in home improvement and are pleased with the progress that we have made thus far.

Turning to our outlook for the remainder of the year, the building blocks of our financial model remain in place. As Carol will detail, we are lowering our sales guidance through the year mostly to reflect the impact of lumber price deflation as well as some conservatism to account for the recently announced tariffs. We now expect fiscal 2019 comp sales growth of approximately 4% and reaffirm our expectation for diluted earnings per share of $10.03.

I want to close by thanking our associates for their hard work, which resulted in the highest quarterly sales in our company history. And with that, let me turn the call over to Ted.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edward P. Decker, The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of Merchandising [4]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Craig, and good morning, everyone. While we had a slow start to the second quarter, we were pleased to see demand accelerate throughout the quarter as we helped our customers tackle a variety of interior and exterior projects.

Looking at our departments. Comps in appliances, tools, decor and storage, indoor garden, building materials, paint, outdoor garden, hardware and plumbing were above the company average. All other departments with the exception of lumber were positive but below the company average. Lumber reported a high single-digit negative comp due to commodity price deflation.

Second quarter comp average ticket increased 2%, and comp transactions increased 1%. Lumber prices remained depressed during the second quarter, and as a result, lumber negatively impacted our average ticket growth by approximately 110 basis points. Last quarter, we talked about a 4-by-8 sheet of OSB selling for about $8, more than 50% below the price a year ago. During the second quarter, the price for that same sheet of OSB fell further to an average of about $7.60.

During the second quarter, big-ticket comp transactions were those over $1,000, which represent approximately 20% of U.S. sales, were up 3.7% reflecting in part the impact of hurricane-related sales last year and lumber price deflation. Excluding hurricane-related markets only, big-ticket transaction comps were nearly 5%. During the quarter, we saw strong performance in big-ticket categories like appliances, vinyl plank flooring and patio.

Last quarter, we talked to you about opportunities in our flooring business. While vinyl plank has been and continues to be one of the strongest-performing product categories across the store, we identified a need to refine our assortment within our other flooring categories. For example, in special order carpet, we've recently taken several actions. We upgraded all of our showrooms and reset the category to reflect the latest styles and trends while offering a simpler shopping experience showcasing the good, better, best line structure. Given that associate engagement is extremely important for this category, we also enhanced our in-store training efforts to drive a better customer shopping experience. While early days, we're pleased with the results.

During the second quarter, we saw growth with both our Pro and DIY customers, with Pro sales outpacing DIY sales in the U.S. We continue to focus on our suite of Pro initiatives because we know that the more we engage with them, the more they spend with us. We've equipped our store associates with a number of tools aimed at better understanding their top Pro customers. Our My View system allows our Pro sales associates to access customer data and information so they can proactively work with our Pro customers and determine how we can better serve them. We continue to simplify the Pro shopping experience and expand engagement through services like tool rental, delivery and our new B2B online experience.

While May was another wet month, we saw project demand and outdoor categories rebound as weather improved. Categories like concrete, exterior paint and stains, live goods and mulch had comps above the company average. In addition, we continue to see customers respond to our industry-leading brands and the innovation they are bringing to market. In our outdoor power equipment business, we were seeing strong customer demand and continued trade-up to cordless tools like blowers, trimmers and even lawnmowers. Exclusive cordless product for brands like RYOBI, Milwaukee, DEWALT and EGO, provide our customers with superior functionality and run time to keep their yards looking great.

Switching gears. As you heard from Craig, we are happy with the progress we are making with our investments to deliver best-in-class interconnected shopping experience. Looking at our likelihood to shop again metric, 87% of our customers give us a best-in-class score of 5. Our strategic investments include accelerated merchandising resets focused on upgrading showrooms, improving visual merchandising and refining assortments to provide a better in-store shopping experience. For example, we are rolling out a new Color Solutions Center in our paint department, which simplifies the color selection process for our customers while emphasizing our price, color and satisfaction guarantee. And our new Project Color app, an updated online experience, allows our customers to seamlessly explore, be inspired and shop color online whenever or wherever they want. Another example is in pipe and fittings. We are resetting all of our bays, reconfiguring them to better showcase the assortment and freeing up space to add new product categories for our customers.

Now let's turn our attention to the back half of the year. as the #1 retailer of ladders, we are pleased to announce an expansion of our partnership with Werner, the #1 brand for Pros. Multi-position ladders are the fastest-growing segment in the ladder category, and we are now the exclusive big-box retailer of Werner multi-position ladders. We are also happy to announce an exciting new partnership with Louisville Ladder as their exclusive big-box retailer starting in the fourth quarter. Combining Werner with our exclusive Louisville Ladder and Gorilla brands, we are the leading destination for top Pro brands in the ladder category.

Our merchants have worked hard to put together events and special buys for our customers in the third quarter. We are excited about our customers' continued appetite for home improvement projects. And in just weeks, we will host our annual Labor Day event followed by our Halloween harvest event.

With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Carol.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [5]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, Ted, and good morning, everyone. As you will recall, fiscal 2018 had a 53rd week, which shifted our fiscal 2019 calendar. Our comp sales are reported on a like-for-like basis, but total sales growth is reported on a fiscal year basis.

In the second quarter, total sales were $30.8 billion, a 1.2% increase from last year, reflecting the shift in our fiscal calendar as well as the impact of deferred sales. Our total company comps were positive 3% for the quarter, with positive comps up 0.2% in May, 4.1% in June and 4.6% in July. Comps in the U.S. were positive 3.1% for the quarter, with positive comps of 0.6% in May, 4.1% in June and 4.7% in July. Versus last year, a stronger U.S. dollar negatively impacted comp sales growth by approximately $29 million or 0.1%.

As you just heard from Ted, during the second quarter, lumber prices remained depressed. Versus last year, this lumber price deflation negatively impacted our comp sales growth by approximately $340 million or over 100 basis points.

In the second quarter, our gross margin was 33.8%, a decrease of 19 basis points from last year. The year-over-year change in our gross margin reflects the following factors. First, higher shrink than last year resulted in approximately 9 basis points of gross margin contraction. Second, changes in the mix of products sold drove approximately 8 basis points of gross margin contraction. And finally, we had 2 basis points of gross margin contraction in our supply chain driven primarily by start-up costs associated with our One Home Depot supply chain initiative.

In the second quarter, operating expense as a percent of sales at 18% was essentially flat compared to last year. Our operating expense performance reflects the impact of our strategic investment plan and good expense control during the quarter. Specifically, expenses related to our strategic investment plan of $242 million increased by approximately $28 million from last year and resulted in approximately 8 basis points of operating expense deleverage. This deleverage was offset by productivity in BAU or business as usual expenses, which drove 7 basis points of operating expense leverage.

Our operating margin for the second quarter was 15.9%, a decrease of 21 basis points from last year. Interest and other expense for the second quarter grew by $37 million to $283 million due primarily to higher long-term debt levels than 1 year ago.

In the second quarter, our effective tax rate was 24.6% compared to 24.7% in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. For the year, we now expect our effective tax rate to be approximately 25%.

Our diluted earnings per share for the second quarter were $3.17, an increase of 3.9% from last year.

Now moving on to some additional highlights. During the quarter, we opened 2 new stores, 1 in the U.S. and 1 in Mexico for an ending store count of 2,291. Selling square footage at the end of the quarter was 238 million square feet. Total sales per square foot for the second quarter were $510, up 1.1% from last year. At the end of the quarter, inventory turns were 5.1x, down from 5.4x last year, reflecting in part a loading of inventory in support of our strategic initiatives. For the year, we now expect our inventory turn to slow slightly from what we reported in fiscal 2018.

Moving on to capital allocation. In the second quarter, we repurchased $1.25 billion or approximately 6.2 million shares of outstanding stock. We plan to repurchase approximately $2.5 billion of outstanding shares in the second half of the year, bringing fiscal 2019 share repurchases to $5 billion, in line with our guidance. Further, during the quarter, we took advantage of an attractive interest rate environment and raised $1.4 billion of long-term debt, of which $1 billion was used to repay senior notes that came due in June. Computed on the average of beginning and ending long-term debt and equity for the trailing 12 months, return on invested capital was approximately 43.7%, 580 basis points higher than the second quarter of fiscal 2018.

Now turning to our outlook for the remainder of the year. While global economic pessimism has increased due to geopolitics, currently, the U.S. consumer remains healthy. Consumer confidence is near record-high levels, and wages are up over 3% from last year. Housing metrics are in line with the assumptions we used to build our 2019 financial plan. Nonetheless, what we didn't expect when we built our plan was the significant lumber price deflation we've experienced. We are now more than halfway through the year, and lumber prices are below the levels we saw in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Additionally, the U.S. consumer is facing the impact of tariff. While trade discussions are fluid, consumer demand could be impacted. Today, we are updating our fiscal 2019 sales and earnings per share growth guidance to reflect these changes.

Remember that we guide off GAAP, so fiscal 2019 guidance will launch from our reported results for fiscal 2018, which include sales and earnings associated with the 53rd week. For fiscal 2019, we now expect comp sales as calculated on a 52-week basis to increase by approximately 4%. That's down 100 basis points from the 5% growth rate we planned at the beginning of the year, reflecting for the most part lower lumber prices as well as some potential impact to the U.S. consumer from recently announced tariff. With this, we now expect sales to increase by approximately 2.3%, reflecting the compare to 53 weeks last year. We are also reaffirming our earnings per share growth guidance for fiscal 2019. For earnings per share, we expect fiscal 2019 diluted earnings per share to grow approximately 3.1% to $10.03. We are able to hold our earnings per share guidance to what we initially planned as lumber is a lower-margin category and because we are projecting a lower tax rate than our original plan.

We thank you for your participation in today's call. And Christine, we are now ready for questions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Isabel Janci, The Home Depot, Inc. - VP of IR & Treasurer [6]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Christine, before we open the call up for questions, I'd like to turn the call back over to Craig.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [7]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, Isabel. As I mentioned on our last earnings call, Carol Tomé will be retiring as our CFO at the end of this month after 24 years with the company. She has served as our Chief Financial Officer for the past 18 years. And in fact, today's call is the 73rd consecutive quarter that she has reported our financial results to the market. I'd like to thank Carol for her deep commitment to our associates, the investment community and our shareholders. Carol has set the standard for excellence and transparency during these calls, reflecting not only her in-depth knowledge of our business, our operating environment, the economic environment but also her dedication to our values. So Carol, let me say thank you for your leadership and for your partnership in your 24-year career at Home Depot. You will definitely be missed.

And Christine, we are now ready for questions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [8]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, Craig. And we'll try to get through the questions without me crying.

================================================================================

Questions and Answers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from the line of Michael Lasser with UBS.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Lasser, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - MD and Equity Research Analyst of Consumer Hardlines [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's a hard lead-in to ask a question off of Carol.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry about that one.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Lasser, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - MD and Equity Research Analyst of Consumer Hardlines [4]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, all good. Carol, congratulations and best of luck. And you too, Richard. Good luck in following in those very large footsteps.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard V. McPhail, The Home Depot, Inc. - SVP of Finance Control & Administration [5]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They certainly are.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Lasser, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - MD and Equity Research Analyst of Consumer Hardlines [6]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So my first question is, we have assumed that about 3/4 of the reduction in your full year comp guidance is due to the lumber price changes, and the remainder, so about 0.25 of a comp point, is due to the macro. There's obviously been a lot of concern on the macro recently given the yield curve inverting; a large education institution that's calling for a significant slowdown in remodeling activity; and then as you pointed out, the tariff uncertainty. So do you think 0.25-point reduction in your comp guidance sufficiently considers all of those uncertainties?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [7]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So Michael, let me make a couple of comments, and I'll turn it over to Carol. So first of all, when you look at the overall macro factors that we think are critical to how we line up our business, those have largely remained unchanged. And so we feel good about the fact that the consumer has wages up about 3% year-over-year. Consumer confidence is still high. So the general trend that we see in the macro based on how we did our plans really hasn't changed much, and we feel pretty good about that.

And then when you think about going forward in the business, when we look at commodity, hurricane, May and then compare that to where we were at the end of the quarter, we feel good about the guidance that we have.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [8]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. Let me just -- I'm sure I'll give you a little bit more color there, Michael. So the implied back half comp in the guidance that we just gave you was around 5%. If you look at our reported comp in the second quarter in the U.S., it was a 3.1% comp. If you add back the impact of hurricane-related sales, that was 50 basis points [of hurt]. If you add back the weather-driven demand softness that we saw in May, that was 40 basis of hurt -- 40 basis points of hurt . And then you've heard us talk about commodity being 100 basis points. So when you add that back, actually, the normalized comp in the second quarter was 5%. Then you heard [Curtis] talk about the comp cadence, and we exited July quite strong on an unadjusted basis. The comp in the U.S. was 4.7%. And then I look at our -- how we're performing relative to plan. And we're on our plan. So you add up all of the data points, and it suggests that this -- the comp guidance is very achievable.

And the other way to look at it is you just stack the comps. You stack the comps for the first half of this year against last year or back to second half, what we reported and what we're guiding to, the stack comp is about the same in both of the halves. So every way we look at it, we feel very good about the guidance that we've given.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [9]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael, I guess the last comment that I'd have on it is if the consumer softened in any way, I'll bet on this team all day long to go after the business.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Lasser, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - MD and Equity Research Analyst of Consumer Hardlines [10]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No doubt. And Carol, you mentioned you're on your plan. Do you mean you're on your plan where you stand quarter-to-date such that you really haven't seen any impact from the tariff flowing through to the consumer as of yet?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [11]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, that's exactly what I mean. The beauty of our business is that we see sales on our phone. We can know exactly how we're doing by the minute. So that's very different than that leading indicator of remodeling activity report that you just mentioned, which is based on a biennial survey of housing data coming out of [AHS]. We have real data at our fingertips. So we feel good about the performance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Lasser, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - MD and Equity Research Analyst of Consumer Hardlines [12]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You might want to remove that app by the end of the month. And then my last question is on -- as you look at your guidance for the back half of the year, how should we model gross margin and SG&A particularly between the third and the fourth quarter, recognizing that it's not so straightforward given that you'll be lapping the extra week in the fourth quarter of last year?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [13]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. So it is a little loopy, isn't it? So I was -- talked to expenses. And as we told you, we expect our expenses on a 52 week-to-52 week basis, excluding the write-down that we took for some trade names that we're no longer using, we told you that our expense growth factor would be 90% for the year. For the first half, it was around 73%. So it'll be a little bit higher in the back half. And quarter-over-quarter, expect Q4 to be higher than Q3.

On the gross margin side, as we've indicated, our gross margin won't be as low as we had anticipated at the beginning of the year because of the penetration shift in lumber. So we will be slightly higher than our original guide. Our original guide was to be flat or that was at 34% for the year, as you recall. So it won't be down as much. So the second half margin won't be down as much as the first half. How about that?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [14]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Simeon Gutman with Morgan Stanley.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Simeon Ari Gutman, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Executive Director [15]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well done, Carol. Congratulations. My first question is on the second half. I know you don't provide quarterly guidance, but can you share some cadence around the second half comp guidance and its dependencies? And I'm thinking about macro dependencies and strategic initiatives. And if you can share with us part of it, on the strategic initiatives, which ones are expected to contribute to the most to the second half comps?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [16]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, a couple of things to think about when you think about the second half comps. First, as you know, we're lapping $800 million of hurricane-related sales, of which $500 million occurred in the first half, $300 million in the back half. So the hurricane sales overlap is easier.

Secondly, on lumber price deflation, let's just use a number of $800 million to make it simple. About $500 million of that occurred in the first half, so $300 million will occur in the back half. So it gets easier, too. Then we have the impact of our supply chain initiatives. So Craig?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [17]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. And so on the initiatives, when you think about the Pro, first is the B2B website that we have launched. And we are seeing Pros that have been migrated onto the website react very positively from a sales standpoint. We are on track for the million Pros in 2019. As a matter of fact, within the tail end of this quarter, we added a significant number of Pros to the website. As Ted detailed, the My View capability that we've given to our associates in-store to better understand how we can engage with the Pro customer is delivering results as well. And then we've made significant investments in our rental business, which we know is an important aspect of the Pro. 25% of the Pros rent from us today. We know that 90% of Pros rent tools. So we have an opportunity as we invest in this business to continue to grow.

And then in the digital investments, our HD Home program, as we expand categories to fulfill rooms in the home, as well as the investments we're making in search capabilities, category, updates, are all leading to improved sales and conversion in the business. And then the number of investments that we've made in the store as well, whether that's our overhead management, which is driving productivity in the store; our interconnected lockers, which is enhancing the pickup experience for our customers; or our merchandising resets, are paying off in a nice way.

I don't know, do you want to give a little more color on the resets?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edward P. Decker, The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of Merchandising [18]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. On the resets, we've been working on our appliance resets and our tool sales for some time. Those 2 businesses continue to post incredibly strong results, and we don't see that changing in the back half. More recently, we've been working through our pipe aisle reset, which is going extremely well, do about half the chain this year. And that adds holding power in the room for some new assortment programs. And then soft flooring, I mentioned in our prepared remarks, for a while there you thought, "Hey, is soft flooring losing all ground to hard-surface flooring, what we've seen in solid floor vinyl and tile?" But resetting all of our soft carpet showrooms, those are done. We simplified our brand structure. We simplified our line structure and pricing structures. That has continued to accelerate through the quarter and exited the quarter at much higher than the company comps. So we're happy with what we're seeing in soft flooring.

And then lastly, our largest reset to come, which we've just launched in the last several weeks and we'll finish the entire chain by the end of this year, is our new Color Solution Center in our paint department, where we'll be highlighting our Behr and PPG products. And really pleased with that. The timing couldn't be better. A number of recent consumer surveys and consumer testing agencies released the new winners for this year. And Behr captured the top 3 paint products in the entire industry at the best value, and PPG posted the 2 top stain products at the best value. So we're very excited about all those resets. Craig?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ann-Marie Campbell, The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of U.S. Stores [19]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And Craig, just to add a couple of points from just driving the customer experience as well. Number one, you mentioned rental. We are continuing to see growth accelerate from half to half. So the investments we are making there are really driving exponential value. And so we are going to continue to lead in there.

To the points about driving events in the second half when we think about our comp cadence, Craig talked about overhead management. And our ability to find the product and get our on-shelf availability to a very, very high level is driving incremental performance. And for us, as we think about the investments, not only is it getting the product on the shelf, it's how do we get the customers to the store. So we have done 450 front-end transformation. We have heard the numbers that we have seen just the customer experience grow across the board. We're going to have over 800 by the end of the year.

And so we are able to deliver this performance by not only transforming our business but making sure that our focus is simple and direct and drive into where the customer expects us to be. So we'll continue to drive through that in the second half of the year and leverage the events to drive exponential differentiated performance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Simeon Ari Gutman, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Executive Director [20]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That was very comprehensive. Can I -- I'm going to ask my follow-up. A year ago, when rates were rising, we went through this hypothetical scenario, if we saw a recession, I think we talked about a scenario in which Home Depot would comp flat and margins could go to 12% if you made all the investments as part of your plan. I think we're now -- 1 year forward, you're making progress on margins. Can you provide us another update, would your margin end up better than that 12% given that you're closer now to some of your goals?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [21]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, Simeon, we haven't updated that recession model. Productivity is a virtuous cycle at The Home Depot. But for modeling purposes, I would use the same numbers that we shared with you before. And just on the sort of the state of the economy and when a recession might happen, we certainly can't predict that. But we know a few things. We are in the longest economic recovery in our nation's history, and yet the amount of growth during this recovery is still under the average of every other recovery in history. So this is one reason why it's been an elongated cycle. Further, the share of housing as a percent of GDP has dropped. It's about 19% of GDP. Back in 2006, it was about 22% of GDP. So whenever that downturn comes -- and it will. It is a cyclical economy. But whenever that downturn comes, it's not going to be like it was before. So we're very well positioned to manage through all that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [22]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Scot Ciccarelli with RBC.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scot Ciccarelli, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - Analyst [23]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had another follow-up on the investments that you're making despite the pretty comprehensive answer you already provided. Can you help us better understand the cadence of the comp growth improvement that you're expecting both in the back half of this year and as it flows into next year specifically targeted to these investments?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [24]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, we said in earlier statements that we believe that we'll achieve about a 1% impact in the back half of the year from the investments that we're making. When you took GDP, the housing benefit and then added in the investments, that's how we got to our growth overall. And the only thing that's changed from that for all practical purposes is the deflation of lumber.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scot Ciccarelli, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - Analyst [25]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But just to clarify, I think it was 1 point for the year, all of which is kind of loaded into the back half. Or did I misunderstand that?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [26]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You're right. It's loaded into the back half. And the way that we've modeled it based on events as well as the completion of resets that you've heard from Ted is that the fourth quarter comp will be higher than the third quarter definitely.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scot Ciccarelli, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - Analyst [27]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Got it. And we should presume that because of the changes in the customer interaction, a lot of these improvements should flow into next year. Or is there a point where you start to anniversary it, and it levels off?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [28]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So they'll definitely flow into next year, and we'll get to that guidance later in the year.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [29]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Christopher Horvers with JP Morgan.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Christopher Michael Horvers, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Senior Analyst [30]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I certainly echo Craig's comments and wish you, Carol, the very best of fortune in the next stage of your life.

In terms of my questions and just to follow up on the macro, on the housing front, rates have moved around a lot, moved down quite a bit. I'm about to reset perhaps personally. And -- but pricing has moderated, and existing home sales are now picking up. So is that what you were expecting? And then what are you seeing out there in terms of the -- in the market, say, some of the coastal markets where we're -- that's really driving the deceleration in pricing and pricing coming down versus other parts of the country?

And then related to that, on the consumer front, are you seeing anything different in the consumer around the type of projects that they're taking on or perhaps the trade-up versus the value orientation?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [31]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the macro model, yes, things are moving around a little bit. But it's just on the margin. So there's no material change to the inputs that create the output and drive our sales plan.

To your question about the coastal markets, I'll just give you some data. Let's take San Francisco down the coast. The comp was higher than the company average. Let's take San Diego, a little bit further south. Comp was at the company average. Let's take New Jersey, which is a high SALT state but comps were higher than the company average. And then let's just land in Dallas. Dallas has seen a 54% increase in home prices since 2006, and the comp was at the company average. So you can see things are performing the way that we thought they would.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Christopher Michael Horvers, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Senior Analyst [32]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Understood. And then a couple of detailed model questions. First, any comment on your expectation for the U.S. comp for the year versus the 4% total guide? And can you help us a little bit more about -- on the SG&A in 4Q, right, he gave the 52-to-52 week comparison. Perhaps how much incremental SG&A dollars there were in 4Q in '18 related to that 53rd week?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [33]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, how to go about answering those questions because we don't like to give you too much quarterly information. So...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [34]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So the one comment I'd make as it relates to kind of -- we're expecting positive comps in Canada for the year.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [35]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [36]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If that helps.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [37]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The question is what happens to the U.S. dollar, and we plan at currency neutral. So you can model what you think is going to happen to the dollar and do that calculation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [38]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Right.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [39]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the expense side, on a reported basis, because of the extra week, that expense growth guidance on a GAAP basis looked really ballooned. And that's the only way to explain it. It's going to look really ballooned because we're going to ignore that extra week. I think the best thing to do is just work within the annual guidance that we've given you and look at it on a 52-to-52 basis, and you can back into what the fourth quarter looks like.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [40]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Charles Grom with Gordon Haskett.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles P. Grom, Gordon Haskett Research Advisors - MD & Senior Analyst of Retail [41]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol, congrats again. So the front half of the year has not been kind on the weather front. We all know that at this point. I'm just curious, in the past, when you've seen this type of pattern, do you typically see the release of that demand? Or do some of the projects just get postponed or canceled altogether?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [42]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's by category. So there's some categories that have the ability to extend, and we're seeing that in the business right now. And so you capture that. There are some where you don't recover all of that business. You might get part of it but not all of it. So it really varies by category. So if you think about -- depending on when the weather takes place, you may or may not get a preemergent business back, for example. And in this year, we didn't get that back.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles P. Grom, Gordon Haskett Research Advisors - MD & Senior Analyst of Retail [43]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. Great. And then just on the change in the comp guide, when you look ahead to your -- the long-term sales targets of $114.7 billion to, I believe, around $120 billion, I'm just wondering if that changes that outlook at all or maybe perhaps bring it to the lower end of the algo equation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [44]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, it definitely goes to the lower end, but it doesn't change the range of guidance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles P. Grom, Gordon Haskett Research Advisors - MD & Senior Analyst of Retail [45]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. And then just one follow-up on the gross margins, Carol. All of last year, transportation was a pretty big headwind. You didn't call it out this quarter. I don't believe you called it out last quarter. Just curious if it's actually helping you guys at this point.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [46]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, it certainly has moderated from what we saw last year. What we are very excited about is the productivity that we're seeing in our upstream supply chain. Our supply chain team has done a great job of mechanizing our upstream facilities. We actually -- well, I called out 2 basis points of pressure in the gross margin comp in the supply chain. Upstream, we leveraged, we leveraged 6 basis points. So tremendous, tremendous productivity in supply chain.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [47]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Zack Fadem with Wells Fargo.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zachary Robert Fadem, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [48]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig, you specifically called out some conservatism in your guide from the potential impact of tariffs. Curious if you could quantify the assumptions here in a little more detail. Maybe talk us through how you think about the balance in the back half of raising prices and the potential downtick in volumes as a result.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [49]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I mean the uncertainty is what the total impact on the customer is economically overall. When we look at specifically as it relates to Home Depot, if you think about China tariffs, list 1 through 4, 4 being at 10%, that's about a $2 billion or 2% of sales comp cost impact. And so the way you have to think about tariffs is there's really 2 sides that you work on this. There is the actual cost side, and there's a number of initiatives underway there, and then there is the potential of the impact to the customer as it relates to the project. And I can -- I'll let Ted talk about the cost side.

And we have a number of initiatives underway. As it relates to how we flow things through to the customer, we use our portfolio approach. We think about this business as a project business, which it is. And there's clearly ups and downs in elasticity, but we have pretty good tools for the merchants to use on that. And we've actually been able to cover the top line. But Ted, if you want to talk about the cost side.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edward P. Decker, The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of Merchandising [50]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I'd say on the cost side, I couldn't be happier with our partnership with the finance team, the accounting team, our assortment planning team. We have data of country of origin and potential tariff impact literally down to the SKU. So we know exactly what are on the various lists, when the tariff impacts will hit. We even know that through our retail accounting into when the impacts hit in our P&L. So thank you very much to the great partnership with the finance team.

As Craig said, on a macro perspective, through Phase 4 and Phase 4 only being at 10%, it's a potential impact of about 2% of our U.S. sales. Now with a number of activities that we're working with the merchants between negotiations with our supplier base, taking into account things like currency, transfer pricing into the United States, value engineering we're embarking upon with our suppliers with customer-backed research if you have a marginal dollar to put into the product, where you put it, the best customer value. And then we're starting to see significant supply chain moves. I would say, on the margin, I'm not aware of a single supplier who is not moving some form of manufacturing outside of China. So we have suppliers moving production to Taiwan, to Vietnam, to Thailand, Indonesia and even back into the United States.

So when you net all of that out, we see this 2-ish percent impact being much, much less, call it something like 1%. And then as Craig said, it's up to the merchant team to work with our overall portfolio approach to the business and project approach to the business to see how best, if at all, where we pass on any of those net impacts to our customers.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zachary Robert Fadem, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [51]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Got it. And then on the paint category, seems to have gotten a little more promotional so far this year. Could we talk through some of the dynamics here? What do you think has driven the elevated activity, more so overall demand or weather environment? And maybe also talk through your process when deciding how you respond when you typically see changes out there in the pricing environment.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edward P. Decker, The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of Merchandising [52]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So I'd -- first, I'd answer with exterior stains. So Behr's -- the weather improved, and we did the reset quickly last year and much more comprehensively this year, again, with the #1 and #2 rated exterior stain with PPG product. We saw great performance in our exterior stain business.

On interior paint, interior paint has gotten more promotional in the marketplace. We have folks out there advertising in print and on media as much as 40% off. At Home Depot, we have -- as was just released with the third-party agencies, we have the absolute best paint in the marketplace. Behr paint holds the top 3 slot in its ratings in 2 different surveys. And we are not going to fall into a high-low promotional trap when we have the best product at the best everyday value.

And as you know, in the finance community, just speaking of promotional cadence, I can remember there was a lot of talk about breaking the buck in the money market world. And we have had a 3-times-a-year promotional cadence in paint of $10 off a gallon and $40 off 5 gallons in the major holidays of the year. Some of our competitors chose to break the buck, and we're not going to do that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zachary Robert Fadem, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [53]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Got it. Appreciate the color, and best of luck to you, Carol.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [54]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [55]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Karen Short with Barclays.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Karen Fiona Short, Barclays Bank PLC, Research Division - Research Analyst [56]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just a question on tariffs in general. So I think last quarter, you commented that on price -- raising prices as it relates to tariffs impacted pricing. You initially had negative units on appliances, and then demand picked up a bit. Maybe a little color on what you're seeing in terms of the consumer reaction to higher price points. And then I just had a clarification question on the gross margin.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [57]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. It's -- as we -- as I mentioned that we have a number of models that we're working right now. And it varies by category. There is elasticity variance by category, and that changes over time as well. But in the work that we've done, we've been able to actually cover the total top line sales in the models that we have out there. And when you think about laundry, because we have referenced that from the past, as time has gone by, laundry was actually our highest unit comping category in appliances last quarter.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Karen Fiona Short, Barclays Bank PLC, Research Division - Research Analyst [58]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting. Okay. That's helpful. And then on the gross margin front, I mean obviously, lumber would have been a benefit to the gross margin this quarter. Could you quantify that and then help -- walk us through how lumber may impact gross margin in the second half?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [59]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm happy to. With a lower penetration of lumber in the second quarter, it gave us 15 basis points of margin expansion. But that was absorbed by growth in lower-margin categories, like appliances as well as portable power. We love our portable power sales, but we don't make a lot of money on it, so. As we...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edward P. Decker, The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of Merchandising [60]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think it's started a recovery in general.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [61]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you. Absolutely, Ted. Thank you for that. So as we look to the back half of the year, we would expect lumber to stay down, as we've talked about, not as much as we saw in the first half but down, which will give us some benefit for the back half as well as for the year.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [62]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from Steve Forbes with Guggenheim.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Steven Paul Forbes, Guggenheim Securities, LLC, Research Division - Analyst [63]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I wanted to revisit the tool rental business and really whether you expect the B2B website experience to augment this initiative. And as I sort of think about it, maybe you could just expand on how you view the interplay between those 2 initiatives and the potential impact to Pro engagement trends. You mentioned sort of positive, but can you provide some additional color?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [64]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So I'd say, first comment I'd make, and I'll turn it over to Ann, is right now, our initiatives aren't around necessarily connecting the B2B website to that from a digital experience. That'll come at a later date. This was all about the investments that we're making right now in the physical locations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ann-Marie Campbell, The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of U.S. Stores [65]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. And just to support Craig on that, number one, the first thing we're doing is investing capital in the business. To your point, there's -- when we invest in fleet, we are able to drive more engagement with the Pro because we have product available. So that's the first thing we're doing, is making sure that we have the right assortment for Pro.

The number two thing we are doing there as well to drive the experience, we have had just tremendous success with the labor model we introduced in the stores last year. And was able to drive higher level of engagement by having our associates there at the right time to engage our customer. And so we're going to continue to lean into that. And within the tool rental area, we're also making sure that we're addressing our labor model to ensure as well that we are having a high level of engagement as well there.

And then last but not least, as we think about how do we ensure that we expand our offering and we are able to push into areas at this point through delivery service and so forth, we're exploring hub locations for tool rental as well.

So we're going to continue to push there. We are seeing tremendous growth. We are seeing higher levels of engagement. And we believe, as we continue to expand, it will certainly be a complement for Pros and drive loyalty within The Home Depot.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Steven Paul Forbes, Guggenheim Securities, LLC, Research Division - Analyst [66]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then just a quick follow-up, maybe just a modeling question here, right? You called out the strategic investment dollar impact for the quarter and year-to-date. But are you still on track to expense -- I think it was $550 million pre-D&A for the year. Maybe just give us an update on where you are and what the full year outlook incorporates.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [67]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, we are on our plan with regard to both the expense and capital in support of our strategic investments.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [68]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Seth Sigman with Crédit Suisse.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seth Ian Sigman, Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - United States Hardline Retail Equity Research Analyst [69]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol, all the best to you. I wanted to follow up on deflation. You discussed the lumber impact. I'm just curious about net deflation, if there were any positive commodity price movements. And I guess just how are you thinking about that as part of the new full year comp guidance?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [70]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So lumber deflation, I said, was 110 basis points. And then we had another 10 basis points of inflation, if you will, from the other commodities and categories that we call out from time to time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seth Ian Sigman, Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - United States Hardline Retail Equity Research Analyst [71]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Got it, okay. And then ex the deflation, your average ticket actually accelerated in the quarter versus last quarter. So I guess outside of commodities, how do we think about the average price increase that you're seeing across the store, I guess, on a same SKU basis? And then tying it in with the gross margin, to the extent that you are seeing higher retail prices, is that a benefit to the gross margin initially until the higher costs actually start to flow through COGS? Like how do we think about that?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [72]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So on the price side, and I'll let Ted give details. The innovation that comes into the assortments certainly has a positive impact overall on our business as it relates to the ticket.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edward P. Decker, The Home Depot, Inc. - EVP of Merchandising [73]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. And I would say from a -- taking aside lumber and tariffs, from a pure commodity standpoint, we had quite a bit of pressure on back half of last year, first part of this year. That subsided, so commodity prices generally versus a year ago, when you think of steel and resin, base metals, et cetera, are actually down. So that pressure on the outfit has subsided.

To Craig's point, most of our pricing increases are mix-driven in the sense that customers are trading up to more innovative, higher-priced goods. We break out the components of our average unit retail increase, which has increased. By far, the largest driver of that in Q2 as well as the past several quarters is from new product introductions, which are at higher price points because of innovation. Think of cordless lawnmowers versus push gas mowers.

On tariffs, we haven't -- we have a number of tests going on in -- across the country. Nothing of any sort of magnitude to say that we're taking price broadly at this point because of tariffs. But we are testing a number of things in our (inaudible) and portfolio approach across the country.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [74]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And to your question on its impact to margin, as we sell more innovative product and the customer steps themselves up in the line structure, it drives a higher gross margin dollar. It may not change rate, but it drives a higher gross margin dollar, which is what the most important thing is.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [75]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And we're probably not giving you the information that maybe you wanted. But I think it's an interesting statistic to look at the acceleration in our big ticket. This has been an underlying sign of health in the business. This is unadjusted, big ticket grew 1.5% in May, 4.1% in June and 5.3% in July.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [76]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our final question will come from the line of Greg Melich with Evercore.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gregory Scott Melich, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD [77]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So Carol, thank you. Really, really helpful all the years, and you deserve all the break you get. We'll continue to annoy you as best we can. The -- I had a follow-up on tariffs and inflation and then also digital. If -- that description you gave before of list 1 to 4, does that assume a 10% tariff on everything, a 25%? Or is it 25% on list 1 to 3 and then the potential of 10% on list 4?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [78]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, that's exactly right. It's the 25% on 1 through 3 and then 10% on 4.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gregory Scott Melich, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD [79]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Perfect. And so to tie into that is, is that a reason why inventories might have been up 5% year-over-year, a contributing factor?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [80]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No. Our inventory is all about the investments that we're making and the accelerated resets for the large part. So it has nothing to do with that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gregory Scott Melich, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD [81]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Got it. And then last on digital, I know up 20%, continues to grow nicely. Is that around 9% of sales? And it did decelerate, so I'm wondering, did Amazon's move to next day -- did you see any impact on that? And do you think that was a factor in the deceleration? Or is there something else going on?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Craig A. Menear, The Home Depot, Inc. - Chairman, CEO & President [82]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So -- yes. No, we actually were very pleased with our growth. It's 8.9% penetration in the quarter, up from 7.5% a year ago. And we've actually accelerated our capabilities in same-day delivery. Mark, I don't know if you want to share the details on that. But...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark Q. Holifield, The Home Depot, Inc. - Executive VP of Supply Chain & Product Development [83]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. As was noted earlier, we have expanded our next-day parcel coverage. We're over 50% of the population now in next-day parcel coverage. We've expanded our car delivery also to greater than 50% out of our stores. So we're pleased with the time we're taking out of our lead time to customer. We continue to take lead time out with every move we make in the supply chain, and each time we do, it improves conversion.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol B. Tomé, The Home Depot, Inc. - CFO & Executive VP of Corporate Services [84]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just on the point on deceleration, it's a fiscal calendar shift thing. So that's not a comp number. That's a growth number.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [85]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ms. Janci, we have reached the end of the question-and-answer session. I would now like to turn the floor back over to you for closing comments.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Isabel Janci, The Home Depot, Inc. - VP of IR & Treasurer [86]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, Christine. And thank you, everyone, for joining us today. We look forward to speaking with you on our third quarter earnings call in November.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [87]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This concludes today's teleconference. You may disconnect your lines at this time. Thank you for your participation, and have a wonderful day.