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Home Depot lifted by warm weather in Q1

BY Ken Clark

Atlanta-based Home Depot made first-quarter history for the period ended April 29 with net earnings crossing the $1 billion mark.

The company reported net income of $1.035 billion, up 27.5% from the same quarter last year. Sales were also up, rising 5.9% to $17.81 billion in the quarter. Comparable-store sales were 5.8%, the highest figure in more than seven years.

“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.”

With the strong quarter under its belt, the company increased its fiscal 2012 guidance and now expects sales to be up about 4.6% for the 53-week year. 

The company’s store count increased by two in the quarter to a total of 2,254.

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Panasonic renames eco division

BY HBSDealer Staff

Panasonic Corp. of North America has renamed its Home and Environment as the Eco Products Division, which will house its ventilation fan business. This product line includes 18 products of high-performance, Energy Star-rated, whole-home ventilation solutions that improve indoor air quality and comply with the latest building standards and codes.

“At Panasonic, we strive to go beyond providing superior eco products to our customers by offering them comprehensive solutions,” said Dan Silver, VP Panasonic Eco products division. “The integration of our ventilation fan business with other units, such as solar panels, lighting controls and power tools, helps us meet this goal and provides the building industry with integrated solutions for any project.”

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AHMA survey treads in political waters

BY Ken Clark

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) Industry Confidence Index included questions about running mates and political agendas.

The April Confidence Index survey asked two supplemental questions of AHMA members:

“Assuming Mitt Romney becomes the Republican candidate for president, which of the following would you most like to see selected as his vice presidential running mate?”

More than half — 52% — responded “Marco Rubio.” Forty percent responded, “Chris Christie,” and 8% responded, “Paul Ryan.”

The AHMA also asked: “Do you think the National Labor Relations Board under the Obama administration has been pushing a pro-union agenda?”

The answer was a resounding yes. Eighty-five percent responded, “Yes.” Rounding out the answers, 8% responded, “Not Sure,” and 8% responded, “No.”

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