Warmer weather pushes Home Depot profit up

(AP) ATLANTA - Home Depot (HD) says its fiscal first-quarter profit climbed 27.5 percent as warmer weather brought consumers out for spring gardening and lawn products.

The world's biggest home-improvement company also boosted its 2012 financial outlook Tuesday, citing its year-to-date performance.

But the Atlanta retailer's quarterly revenue results and its full-year revenue guidance fell short of analysts' expectations. Its stock dropped 3 percent in premarket trading.

Home Depot Inc. reported net income of $1.04 billion, or 68 cents per share, for the period ended April 29. That's up from $812 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

The latest results beat the 64 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet expected.

"We saw a stronger-than-expected start to the year, driven by record warm weather and continued demand for core products," Chairman and CEO Frank Blake said in a statement.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $17.81 billion from $16.8 billion. But that missed Wall Street's estimate of $17.89 billion.

Home Depot's shares fell $1.50, or 3 percent, to $48.38 ahead of the market opening.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 5.8 percent, with the metric climbing 6.1 percent for U.S. locations.

This figure is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

The company expects fiscal 2012 earnings of $2.90 per share, with revenue up about 4.6 percent. This implies revenue of approximately $73.66 billion. Home Depot previously predicted earnings of about $2.79 per share and a 4 percent revenue increase.

Analysts had expected earnings of $2.90 per share on revenue of $74.06 billion.

Home Depot has 2,254 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China.