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Earnings jump 12.4% at Home Depot

Home Depot Tuesday reported sales of $20.6 billion for the second quarter of 2012, a 1.7% increase from the second quarter of fiscal 2011. Comparable sales for U.S. stores were positive 2.6%, and overall same-store sales for the second quarter were positive 2.1%.

Net earnings for the world’s largest home improvement retailer were $1.53 billion for the second quarter, which ended July 29. This compares with net earnings of $1.36 billion in the same period a year ago, reflecting a 12.4% increase.

"As expected, second-quarter sales reflected the pull forward of seasonal activity into the first quarter,” said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO. "But we saw continued demand for core products and delivered second-quarter earnings above our expectations.”

The Atlanta retailer expects fiscal 2012 sales will increase approximately 4.6% from the prior year on a 53-week basis.

At the end of the second quarter, Home Depot operated a total of 2,255 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China.