The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD), the world’s largest home improvement retailer, posted a better than expected earnings during the second quarter of the fiscal year. The company raised its outlook for 2012, after its net earnings increased to $1.53 billion or $1.01 per share from $1.36 billion or 86 cents per share during the same period last year.

US home depot

The result is higher than the 97 cents average estimates of analysts, based on the data compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also reported $20.6 billion total sales during the second quarter this year. The result was 1.7 percent higher than its $20.2 billion net sales in 2011.  The company said its sales from its global stores rose by 2.1 percent, while the sales of its stores in the United States increased by 2.6 percent.

Based on its earnings performance during the quarter ending in July 29, the home improvement retailer adjusted its outlook for 2012. Home Depot expects its diluted earnings per share to climb by 19 percent, to $2.95. Home Depot also expects a 4.6 percent sales increase, and plans to repurchase its shares worth $1.4 billion this year.

In a statement, Frank Blake, chairman & CEO of Home Depot, said, “As expected, second-quarter sales reflected the pull forward of seasonal activity into the first quarter. But, we saw continued demand for core products and delivered second-quarter earnings above our expectations.”

During the second quarter, The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD)’s operating expenses declined by 2.7 percent to $4.46 billion, from $4.58 billion during the same period in 2011.

Alan Rifkin, analyst from Barclays, believed Home Depot was in the right position during this stage of housing recovery in the United States, which has become most attractive. His rating for the company remains “overweight”, while “equal weight” for Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW), which is expected to report its second quarter earnings on Monday, August 20.

Home Depot currently operates a total of 2,255 retail stores in the Unites States and its territories, including Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam, as well as in Canada and China. During the early morning trading at the New York Stock Exchange, Home Depot’s price is $52.82 per share.

Meanwhile, Rona Inc. (TSE:RON), a Canadian home improvement retailer, adjusted its earnings on Wednesday. The company’s earnings increased C$43.6 million, or 36 Canadian cents per share. Its revenue climbed by 3.4 percent to C$1.42 billion.

Rona previously declined the unsolicited proposal of Lowe’s to take over the company, citing that it is not for the best interest of its shareholders. The company said it is focused on implementing its strategic business plans to pursue significant opportunities.