Home improvement retailing giant Home Depot reported strong first quarter earnings this morning, citing the recovering housing market as a key driver.
Earnings per share were $0.83 versus analysts' consensus prediction of $0.77. Revenues came in at $19.1 billion, topping estimates for $18.69 billion.
U.S. same-store sales rose 4.8% during the quarter.
"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-expected start to the year for our business," said Home Depot Chairman and CEO Frank Blake in the press release.
Shares are up 3.6% in pre-market trading.
Below is the full text from the release:
ATLANTA, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Home Depot®, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $19.1 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, a 7.4 percent increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Due to the 14th week in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, first quarter sales benefited from a seasonal timing change that added approximately $574 million to sales. On a like for like basis, comparable store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were positive 4.3 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 4.8 percent.
Net earnings for the first quarter were $1.2 billion, or $0.83 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $1.0 billion, or $0.68 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2012. For the first quarter of fiscal 2013, diluted earnings per share increased 22.1 percent from the same period in the prior 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-expected start to the year for our business," said Frank Blake, chairman & CEO. "I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and commitment to our customers."
Updated Fiscal 2013 Guidance
Based on its year-to-date performance and outlook for the balance of the year, the Company raised its fiscal 2013 sales guidance and now expects sales to be up approximately 2.8 percent with comparable store sales up approximately 4.0 percent for the year. The Company raised its fiscal 2013 diluted earnings-per-share guidance and now expects diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 17 percent to $3.52 for the year. The Company's fiscal 2013 sales and earnings-per-share guidance is based on a 52-week year compared to fiscal 2012, a 53-week year.
The Company's earnings-per-share guidance includes the benefit of its year-to-date share repurchases and intent to repurchase $4.4 billion in additional shares over the remainder of the year, which will bring the total dollar amount of shares repurchased to $6.5 billion for the year.
The Home Depot will conduct a conference call today at 9 a.m. ET to discuss information included in this news release and related matters. The conference call will be available in its entirety through a webcast and replay at earnings.homedepot.com.
At the end of the first quarter, the Company operated a total of 2,257 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.
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