On the earnings front, Home Depot (HD: sentiment, chart, options) said second-quarter net income dropped 24% to $1.2 billion, or 71 cents per share. Sales fell 5% to $20.99 billion and same-store sales were off 7.9%. "We continue to see pressure on our market and the consumer, generally," said CEO Frank Blake. Despite the year-over-year declines, the figures still bested Wall Street's expectations for earnings of 61 cents per share on sales of $20.56 billion. Looking ahead, HD said it expects earnings to drop 24% and sales to fall 5%, in line with earlier guidance.
Staples (SPLS: sentiment, chart, options) said that it expects flat earnings per share and low single-digit sales growth for 2008. The firm said that it sees the Corporate Express merger adding slightly to earnings. Staples expects restructuring expenses for the deal to range from $30 million to $40 million in the back half of 2008, and to range from $50 million to $70 million in 2009. For the second quarter, SPLS expects earnings per share to fall about 15%, with sales rising about 3%.
Finally, Medtronic (MDT: sentiment, chart, options) reported that first-quarter net income rose to $747 million, or 66 cents per share, compared with $675 million, or 59 cents per share, for the same period a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings were 72 cents per share. Sales arrived at $3.71 billion compared to last year's $3.13 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 69 cents per share on sales of $3.67 billion.
Opening View: Home Depot Reports Earnings, Inflation Data on Tap