ATLANTA (AP) — Home Depot's fiscal first-quarter net income climbed 12 percent, helped by better sales, but results fell short of expectations as a cold and rainy spring hurt results.
The company said May sales were "robust" and the No. 1 home improvement retailer raised its full-year earnings forecast. Shares rose almost 2 percent in morning trading.
Spring is the biggest season for home improvement retailers as homeowners and others work on their yards and gardens.
Meanwhile, the U.S. housing market has emerged from a deep slump, aided by rising home prices, steady job growth and fewer troubled loans dating back to the housing-bubble days. While the housing market has recently struggled to maintain that momentum, many home owners are spending more to renovate their homes.
"The first quarter was impacted by a slow start to the spring selling season. But we had solid results in non-weather impacted markets and expect our sales for the year to grow in line with the guidance we previously provided," said CEO Frank Blake.
The Atlanta-based retailer earned $1.38 billion, or $1 per share, for the three months ended May 4. That compares with $1.23 billion, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.
The latest quarter's results included a benefit of 4 cents per share related to the sale of part of its equity ownership in HD Supply Holdings Inc.
Stripping out the benefit, earnings amounted to 96 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 99 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.
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