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Home Depot, Target Report Profit Boosts in 1st Quarter

May 17, 2000|From Bloomberg News

Home Depot Inc. and other retailers posted profits that met or exceeded analyst expectations for their fiscal first quarter as they benefited from buoyant economic conditions.

Profit rose 29% at Home Depot, the No. 1 home-improvement retailer, to $629 million, or 27 cents a share, meeting Wall Street forecasts. Sales climbed 24% to $11.11 billion, as rising sales of new and old homes fueled demand for everything from paint to such high-ticket items as large appliances.

Target Corp. said its net income jumped 23% to $239 million, or 52 cents a share, as the discount Target chain more than made up for weak sales at Mervyn's, Dayton's and other department stores. Target's total sales rose 8.2% to $7.75 billion.

At a Glance

Other retail earnings, excluding one-time gains or charges unless noted, include:

* J.C. Penney Co.'s fiscal first-quarter profit tumbled 51% to $82 million, or 28 cents, but exceeded analyst forecasts of 23 cents, as the retailer eked out a 2.6% rise in sales to $7.73 billion. The Eckerd drugstore division had a loss of $30 million, even as sales grew 9.4%.

* Saks Inc.'s profit fell 18.5% in its fiscal first quarter to $32.4 million, or 23 cents a share, matching forecasts, as slow apparel sales at its regional department stores outweighed improved sales and costs at the upscale Saks Fifth Avenue chain. Revenue rose 2.5% to $1.5 billion.

* Staples Inc. said fiscal first-quarter profit rose 26% to $63.3 million, or 14 cents a share, matching analyst forecasts, as sales jumped 20% to $2.48 billion. The latest results exclude a restructuring gain and costs for expanding the company's Internet business.

* TJX Cos., whose chains include T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, said fiscal first-quarter profit rose 6.8% to $130.6 million, or 44 cents a share, a penny better than forecasts, with help from restrained spending. Sales rose 9.2% to $2.11 billion.

* Tiffany & Co. said fiscal first-quarter profit climbed 88% to $30.4 million, or 40 cents a share, beating analyst estimates that already were revised upward. The luxury retailer's sales surged 26% to $343.3 million. Tiffany said in April that it expected to beat analysts' highest profit estimates on better-than-expected sales. At that time, the highest analyst forecast was 31 cents. The average estimate had since risen to 37 cents, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

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