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Home Depot Posts Higher Earnings On Lower Sales

Atlanta – Home Depot
reported higher earnings on slightly lower sales in its first quarter ended May

The home improvement retailer, today reported fiscal first
quarter net earnings of $812 million compared with net earnings of $725 million
for the same period last year.

Sales for the first quarter totaled $16.8 billion, a 0.2
percent decrease from the first quarter of last year. Comparable store sales
for the first quarter were negative 0.6 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores
were negative 0.7 percent.

“We continued to improve our business and delivered
double-digit earnings growth,” said Frank Blake, chairman/CEO in a statement. “Our
sales declined slightly due to a slow spring selling season, but for the year
we expect sales to grow in line with the guidance we previously provided.”

Home Depot confirmed that it expects fiscal 2011 sales will
be up approximately 2.5 percent from fiscal 2010.

At the end of the first quarter, the Home Depot operated a
total of 2,245 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto
Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China.