(By Balachander) Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) shares rose 2.52 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday after the home improvement retailer raised its earnings forecast following its second-quarter results.
For the full year ending January 2013, the company now expects earnings per share (EPS) growth of around 19 percent to $2.95 versus prior forecast of a rise of 17 percent to $2.90. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect earnings of $2.92 per share.
Home Depot continues to forecast sales growth of about 4.6 percent, while analysts expect a 5.1 percent increase for the year.
The world's largest home improvement retailer posted higher quarterly earnings as consumers spent more amid continued demand for its products.
Results of Home Depot, a Dow component, are considered by investors as a measure to gauge the ups/downs of the global economy due its significant international reach and the ongoing trends in the housing market.
EPS jumped 17.4 percent to $1.01 for the second quarter from $0.86 in the year-ago quarter, topping market expectations of $0.97. Net earnings increased 12.4 percent to $1.53 billion.
Sales grew 1.7 percent to $20.6 billion, yet trailed market expectations of a 2.50 percent increase. Comparable store sales gained 2.1 percent, with U.S. sales up 2.6 percent.
HD shares closed Monday's regular trading at $52.82. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $29.79 and $54.28.