ATLANTA--The Home Depot®, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $17.8 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, a 5.9 percent increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Comparable store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were positive 5.8 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 6.1 percent.

Net earnings for the first quarter were $1.0 billion, or $0.68 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $812 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2011. For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, diluted earnings per share increased 36.0 percent from the same period in the prior year.

First quarter of fiscal 2012 results reflect a benefit to earnings, net of tax, of $43 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, related to the termination of the Company's guarantee of a senior secured loan.

"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 & CEO. "I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication."

Updated Fiscal 2012 Guidance

Based on its year-to-date performance, the Company updated its fiscal 2012 guidance and now expects sales to be up approximately 4.6 percent for the year on a 53-week basis. The Company raised its fiscal 2012 diluted earnings-per-share guidance and now expects diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 17 percent to $2.90 for the year. This earnings-per-share guidance includes the $0.03 per diluted share benefit related to the termination of the Company's guarantee of a senior secured loan, the benefit of the Company's year-to-date share repurchases and the Company's intent to repurchase $2.4 billion in additional shares over the remainder of the year.

At the end of the first quarter, the Company operated a total of 2,254 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.



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