Home Depot Posts Higher Sales, Earnings

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Atlanta - The Home Depot reported higher sales, comp-store sales and net earnings for its fiscal first quarter, ended April 29.

Sales were $17.8 billion for the first quarter, a 5.9 percent increase from the prior year's opening quarter. Comp-store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 rose 5.8 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were up 6.1 percent.

Net earnings for the first quarter were $1.0 billion, compared with net earnings of $812 million in the same period last year.

First quarter of fiscal 2012 results reflect a benefit to earnings, net of tax, of $43 million related to the termination of Home Depot's guarantee of a senior secured loan, the company said.

"We saw a stronger-than-expected start to the year, driven by record warm weather and continued demand for core products," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO.

Home Depot updated its fiscal 2012 guidance, saying it now expects sales to rise 4.6 percent for the year on a 53-week basis and expects earnings per share to increase 17 percent this year.

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