REUTERS

(REUTERS)

Home Depot's Profit Beats as Sales Rise After Harsh Winter

Earnings Reuters

Home Depot Inc (HD), the world's largest home improvement chain by sales, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales as customers in North America spent more on home repairs after a harsh winter.

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The company also raised its full-year sales and profit forecast on Tuesday.

Several northeastern parts of the United States experienced heavy snowfall this winter, with cities including New York, Chicago and Boston hit with snow storms.

Home Depot has a large number of stores in the U.S. Northeast.

"We had a stronger than expected start to the year as we experienced a more normal spring across much of the country and continued recovery of the U.S. housing market," Chief Executive Craig Menear said in a statement.

The company's total same-store sales rose 6.1 percent in the first quarter. Analysts on average had expected a 5.5 percent rise, according to Consensus Metrix.

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Home Depot raised its profit forecast for the year ending February 2016 to $5.24-$5.27 per share from $5.11-$5.17. The revised forecast includes the benefit of a favorable settlement of a tax audit and the impact of stock buybacks this year.

The company also increased its full-year sales growth forecast to 4.2-4.8 percent from 3.5-4.7 percent.

Home Depot's net income rose to $1.58 billion, or $1.21 per share, in the quarter ended May 3 from $1.38 billion, or $1.00 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $20.89 billion.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.16 per share.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.15 per share and revenue of $20.81 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Atlanta, Georgia-based Home Depot's shares were down about 1 percent at $113 in premarket trading.

Up to Monday's close, the stock had risen nearly 9 percent this year.

(Reporting by Nayan Das in Bengaluru and Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Kirti Pandey)