Home Depot keeps rolling in first quarter

Industry giant shrugs off bad weather, welcomes a recovering housing market and posts net earnings of $1.2 billion.

Atlanta-based The Home Depot reported first-quarter sales of $19.1 billion, up 7.4% from last year's quarter, which had one less week. 

On a like-for-like basis, comparable-store sales for the first quarter were positive 4.3%. U.S. stores comps were positive 4.8%, also on a like-for-like basis.

Cold weather across much of the country hurt spring sales for the home improvement industry, and Home Depot also felt the chill. But the world's largest home improvement retailer still grew profits and sales. Net earnings for the quarter were $1.2 billion, up from $1.0 billion in the first quarter last year. 

"In the first quarter, we saw less favorable weather compared to last year, but we continue to see benefit from a recovering housing market that drove a stronger-than-expeted start to the year for our business," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO. 

The company also raised its fiscal 2013 sales guidance. It now expects sales to be up about 2.8% for the year, with comp-store sales up about 4.0% for the year.

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