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Home Depot Inc revises estimates

HOME Depot Inc, the largest home improvement retailer in the United States, said yesterday that its full-year earnings from continuing operations may come in better than previously forecast.

The move comes a few weeks after smaller rival Lowe's Co raised its full-year outlook.

Atlanta-based Home Depot now sees earnings per share from continuing operations to drop between 0 percent to 7 percent. Prior earnings forecast called for a 7 percent decline.

The retailer also expects adjusted earnings per share to be down 20 percent to 26 percent. Its previous outlook was for a 26 percent decline.

In 2008, Home Depot had earnings from continuing operations of US$1.37 per share. Its adjusted earnings from continuing operations were US$1.78 per share.

This implies 2009 earnings from continuing operations of US$1.27 to US$1.37 per share and adjusted earnings from continuing operations of US$1.32 to US$1.42 per share.

The retailer maintained its outlook for an approximately 9 percent sales decline, which would mean sales of about US$64.9 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, whose estimates generally exclude one-time items, predict full-year profit of US$1.40 per share on sales of US$65.27 billion.

Home Depot reiterated its forecast for same-store sales to decline in the high single digits.

Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, are a key indicator of retailer performance since they measure growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.


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