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Monday May 4th, 2015 1:06PM

Home Depot 1Q results miss expectations

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) -- Home Depot's fiscal first-quarter net income climbed 12 percent as a key sales metric improved despite a slow start to the spring selling season due to bad weather.

But both its adjusted earnings and revenue came in short of Wall Street's expectations.

Nonetheless, the No. 1 home improvement retailer raised its full-year earnings forecast on Tuesday.

Home Depot Inc. 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.

Shares of Home Depot shed 49 cents to $76.01 before the market open.

Revenue for the Atlanta company rose 3 percent to $19.69 billion, but missed Wall Street's estimate of $19.97 billion.

Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year increased 3.3 percent. For the entire company, the metric climbed 2.6 percent.

This figure is a key indicator of a retailer's health. It excludes results from locations recently opened or closed.

The company had 2,263 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico at the end of the first quarter.

Home Depot now foresees fiscal 2014 earnings of $4.42 per share. Its prior guidance was for earnings of $4.38 per share. Analysts expect full-year earnings of $4.41 per share.

The chain reaffirmed its outlook for 2014 revenue to rise by about 4.8 percent. Based on 2013's revenue of $78.81 billion, this implies approximately $82.6 billion.

Wall Street expects revenue of $82.62 billion.

Home Depot's smaller rival Lowe's Cos. reports results on Wednesday.
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