(By Balachander) Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) raised its full-year forecast after the home improvement retailer posted third-quarter results that came in better than expected.
For the full year ending January 2013, the company now expects earnings per share (EPS) growth of around 23 percent to $3.03 versus prior forecast of a rise of 19 percent to $2.95. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect earnings of $2.97 per share.
Home Depot currently forecast sales growth of roughly 5.2 percent, up from about 4.6 percent growth projected earlier, while analysts expect a 4.8 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.
On an adjusted basis, EPS jumped 23.3 percent to 74 cents, topping market expectations of 70 cents for the third quarter.
Net earnings increased 1.4 percent to $947 million for the three months ended October.
Sales grew 4.6 percent to $18.1 billion, coming in above consensus estimates of a 3.50 percent increase. Comparable store sales gained 4.2 percent, with U.S. sales up 4.3 percent.
The company's forecast for the full year exclude the $0.11 per share impact related to the closing of seven stores in China.
HD shares closed Monday's regular trading at $61.16. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $36.41 and $63.20.