Atlanta - Home Depot reported higher earnings on slightly lower sales in its first quarter ended May 1.
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.