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Home Depot profit up 44% in Q1


Atlanta The Home Depot reported that its fiscal first-quarter profit ended May 3, climbed 44%. The company earned $514 million for the quarter, compared with $356 million a year ago.

Quarterly sales dropped 10% to $16.18 billion as consumers reined in their spending due to the recession. The results, however, beat analysts' forecast of $15.86 billion.

Same-store sales fell 10.2%, with U.S. same-store sales down 8.6%.

Home Depot said the number of transactions during the quarter fell 1.3%, while the average ticket dropped 8.2% to $52.67.

The company said it continues to see big-ticket sales fall. However, Home Depot said some of its best-selling items during the quarter were products related to gardening, a popular category as temperatures began to climb. Sales of items for home maintenance also continued to be strong, along with supplies for simple home-improvement projects such as paint.

Home Depot also hinted that sales in some western states that were particularly hard-hit by the housing crisis are not showing continued signs of improvement.

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