Home Depot Raises 2010 Outlook, Predicts Growth for 2011

Home Depot (HD) raised its 2010 outlook, and expects both sales and profits to rise next year, when it plans to open 10 new stores, the company said in a statement.

The nation's biggest home improvement retailer expects sales to rise approximately 2.3% to $67.72 billion for the current year, up from a previously projected 2.2% gain, and slightly better than analysts' estimates. The company also foresees earnings per share from continuing operations increasing by approximately 27% to $1.97 for the year, up from its earlier estimate of $1.94 a share, which is what analysts expect.

In 2011, Home Depot expects sales to grow between 2% and 2.5%, and expects operating margin improvement of approximately 30 to 40 percentage points. Home Depot plans to add 10 new stores to its 2,246 retail locations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and China.

The company predicts earnings per share from continuing operations growth before share repurchases in the 7% to 9% range, and after share repurchases in the approximately 11% to 13% range, or between $2.19 and $2.23 a share. Home Depot is planning to use extra cash to make about $2.5 billion in share repurchases.

Home Depot's 2010 investor and analyst conference at began 9 a.m. Wednesday, and is viewable online.

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