Home Depot Continues to Build

Tickers in this article: FAST HD LOW SHW

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Home Depot (HD) continues to beat the markets' and analysts' expectations. The world's largest home improvement retailer is popular with its customers as well as individual investors.

The stock has been on a roll this year and has beaten the market by a wide margin. While the market as measured by the Value Line Index was up14% for the year, Home Depot was up more than 50% as this graph provided by Barchart illustrates above.

Let's look at some of the many factors that make this a stock that should interest you.

Fundamental Factors

The company is huge with a $105.17 billion market cap. The P/E of 22.31 and a dividend yield of 1.69% are reasonable. The company has given guidance that the quarterly dividend will be raised 34% and the board has approved a stock buy-back program of $17 billion. Analysts project revenue will be up 2.70% this year and another 4.40% next year. Earnings are estimated to increase by 13.20% this year, an additional 16.20% next year and continue to increase annually by 14.63% a year for the next five years. The Financial Strength is A++ and TheStreet rates the stock A+.

Technical Indicators Supplied by Barchart

Barchart has a 100% technical buy signal as well as a Trend Spotter buy signal. The price is above its 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages, giving the stock a 64.45% Relative Strength Index. The price has been up 12 times in the last quarter for a gain of 8.66%. Barchart computes a technical support level at 67.72 and the stock traded recently at $69.77, which is above its 50-day moving average of 65.98.

Investor Interest

The stock is popular with both the professional and individual investors. 23 Wall Street brokerage firms assigned 23 analysts to run the numbers and they issued 10 strong buy, 1 buy and 11 hold recommendations. 4,372 individual investors on Motley Fool voted that the stock has a 79% chance to beat the market. Short sellers seem to agree; they have begun to close their positions from a high of 14.6 million short shares on 6/15 to around 5.3 million short shares on 2/15.

Peer Comparisons

Over the past year, Home Deport was up 16%, while Lowe's (LOW) was up 26%, Sherwin-Williams (SHW) popped 10% and Fastenal (FAST) was up 16%.

Lowe's: P/E 21.93 with a dividend yield of 1.68%. Analysts issued six strong buy, eight buy, 10 hold, one underperform and a sell recommendation. Earnings expected to increase 17.50% annually over the next five years. Financial Strength A+ and TheStreet rating of B+.

Sherwin-Williams: P/E 24.86 with a dividend yield of 1.21%. Analysts issued two strong buy, one buy, 13 hold and two underperform recommendations. Earnings are projected to increase 14.60% annually for the next five years. Financial Strength is A+ and TheStreet rates the stock B+.