UPDATE 1-Home Depot sales miss expectations
May 15 (Reuters) - Home Depot Inc reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales as a warm winter prompted many homeowners to take up renovation projects earlier than usual this year.
Spring is traditionally the biggest selling season of the year for home improvement chains. But this year, homeowners stepped out earlier to take advantage of the unseasonably warm winter weather across the United States.
Sales at the world's largest home improvement chain rose 5.9 percent to about $17.81 billion in the first quarter ended on April 29, but fell short of the analysts' average estimate of $17.96 billion.
Still, Home Depot's net earnings rose to $1.04 billion, or 68 cents a share, from $812 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier. The results include a benefit of 3 cents a share from the termination of its guarantee of a senior secured loan.
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