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updated: 5/22/2013 8:06 AM

Housing recovery boosts Home Depot 1Q results

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Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Even though the weather was poor, Home Depot posted an 18 percent increase in its net income for the first quarter thanks to the ongoing housing recovery.

Its quarterly results topped Wall Street's view and the world's biggest home improvement chain boosted its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts Tuesday.

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Shares climbed 4 percent in premarket trading.

For the three months ended May 5, Home Depot Inc. earned $1.23 billion, or 83 cents per share. That's up from $1.04 billion, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts predicted earnings of 76 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

"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," Chairman and CEO Frank Blake said in a statement.

Revenue for the Atlanta company rose 7 percent to $19.12 billion from $17.81 billion. Wall Street expected $18.62 billion.

Home Depot's stock gained $3.24, or 4.2 percent, to $80 about three hours before the market open.

Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, climbed 4.3 percent. This figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

The chain anticipates fiscal 2013 earnings of $3.52 per share, with revenue up about 2.8 percent. Its prior guidance was for earnings of $3.37 per share, with revenue rising about 2 percent. The revised outlook implies revenue of $76.83 billion, based on 2012's $74.75 billion.

Analysts expect full-year earnings of $3.54 per share on revenue of $76.98 billion.

Home Depot had 2,257 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico at the first quarter's end.

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