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Unseasonable weather warms up sales, earnings at Home Depot

ATLANTA — Warm weather and demand for core products helped drive up sales and earnings at The Home Depot during its fiscal first quarter. The company reported sales of $17.8 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, a 5.9% increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Comparable-store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were positive 5.8%, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 6.1%.

Net earnings for the first quarter were $1 billion, or 68 cents per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $812 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2011. For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, diluted earnings per share increased 36% from the same period in the prior year. 

"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. "I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication."

Based on its year-to-date performance, the company updated its fiscal 2012 guidance and now expects sales to be up approximately 4.6% for the year on a 53-week basis. The company raised its fiscal 2012 diluted earnings-per-share guidance and now expects diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 17% to $2.90 for the year.

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