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Report: April retail sales rise at slowest pace of 2012

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A Tuesday report by the Commerce Department showed that U.S. retail sales during the month of April edged up 0.1%, following a 0.7% gain in March and marking the smallest rise of the year so far. The gain was in line with projections.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales climbed 0.1% in April.

An early Easter and unusually mild temperatures may have impacted the results by pulling consumers into the stores in March, industry experts said. The average temperature in March was the warmest ever recorded in the United States, and Easter fell on April 8, compared with April 24 the year before.

Sales at specialty apparel and department stores sagged in April – down 0.7% and 0.1% respectively. Still, nine of 13 major categories showed gains last month, led by auto dealers, furniture stores and non-store retailers that included online merchants.

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Dick’s Sporting Goods raises outlook on impressive Q1

BY CSA STAFF

PITTSBURGH — Dick’s Sporting Goods has raised its full year and second quarter outlooks after reporting substantial growth in sales and earnings for the first quarter. The company reported that net income for the quarter was $57.2 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, exceeding the company’s earnings expectations provided on March 6 of 36 cents to 38 cents per diluted share. For the first quarter ended April 30, 2011, the company reported consolidated net income of $37.5 million, or 30 cents per diluted share.

Net sales for the first quarter of 2012 increased by 15.1% to $1.3 billion as compared with the first quarter of 2011 due primarily to an 8.4% increase in consolidated same-store sales and the growth of the company’s store network. The consolidated same-store sales increase consisted of a 7.3% increase at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, a 12.6% increase at Golf Galaxy and a 33.4% increase in the company’s e-commerce business.

"We had an exceptionally strong first quarter as we generated record earnings with a 50% increase in earnings per share on 15% sales growth. We also maintained a healthy balance sheet while returning capital to stockholders through our dividend and share repurchase programs," said Edward Stack, chairman and CEO. "For 2012, we are raising our full year guidance as we continue to invest in new stores and our e-commerce business as well as our margin accelerators including inventory management, private brands, and product mix shift."

In the first quarter, the company opened six Dick’s Sporting Goods stores.

As of April 28, the company operated 486 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in 44 states, with approximately 26.5 million sq. ft. and 81 Golf Galaxy stores in 30 states, with approximately 1.3 million sq. ft.

For the full year 2012, the company currently anticipates reporting consolidated earnings per diluted share of approximately $2.45 to $2.48, which includes approximately 3 cents per diluted share for the 53rd week. Consolidated same-store sales are currently expected to increase approximately 3 to 4% on a 52-week to 52-week comparative basis, compared with a 2% increase in fiscal 2011.

During the year, Dick’s said it expects to open approximately 40 new Dick’s Sporting Goods stores and relocate five Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in 2012. The company also expects to reposition two Golf Galaxy stores.

For the second quarter, the company currently anticipates reporting consolidated earnings per diluted share of approximately 62 cents to 63 cents in the second quarter of 2012. Consolidated same-store sales are currently expected to increase approximately 2% to 3% in the second quarter of 2012 compared with a 2.5% increase in the second quarter of 2011.

The company currently expects to open four Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in the second quarter of 2012.

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Unseasonable weather warms up sales, earnings at Home Depot

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA — Warm weather and demand for core products helped drive up sales and earnings at The Home Depot during its fiscal first quarter. The company reported sales of $17.8 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, a 5.9% increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Comparable-store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were positive 5.8%, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 6.1%.

Net earnings for the first quarter were $1 billion, or 68 cents per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $812 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2011. For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, diluted earnings per share increased 36% from the same period in the prior year.

"We saw a stronger-than-expected start to the year, driven by record warm weather and continued demand for core products," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO. "I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication."

Based on its year-to-date performance, the company updated its fiscal 2012 guidance and now expects sales to be up approximately 4.6% for the year on a 53-week basis. The company raised its fiscal 2012 diluted earnings-per-share guidance and now expects diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 17% to $2.90 for the year.

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