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Home Depot’s Q1 Profits Up 12.5%

Atlanta — The Home Depot shrugged off harsh spring weather to post higher sales and profits in the first quarter.

Net earnings increased 12.5 percent to $1.4 billion for the three months, ended May 4, and net sales rose 2.9 percent to $19.7 billion.

Comp sales increased 3.3 percent at U.S. stores, while total customer transactions edged up 2.2 percent and average ticket rose 0.6 percent.

“The first quarter was impacted by a slow start to the spring selling season,” said chairman/CEO Frank Blake. “But we had solid results in non-weather impacted markets and expect our sales for the year to grow in line with the guidance we previously provided,” which is about 4.8 percent.

In a research note, Credit Suisse retail analyst Gary Balter credited “the strength of the company’s margin and balance sheet levers” for its ability to achieve double-digit earnings growth on slim sales gains.