UPDATE 1-Home Depot raises annual sales forecast on steady demand

·1 min read

(Adds profit forecast, share price)

May 17 (Reuters) - Home Depot Inc increased its full-year sales forecast on Tuesday as demand for home improvement tools and building materials holds up after a surge in the early months of the pandemic.

The company's shares rose 4% to $307.99 in premarket trading.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns people took up several do-it-yourself (DIY) home projects and hired professionals to upgrade their homes, lifting sales at Home Depot and rival Lowe's Cos Inc in 2020.

Analysts have said demand from home-improvement professionals is holding up despite higher prices.

Home Depot now expects comparable sales to increase about 3% in fiscal 2022, compared to its previous forecast of a slight positive growth. Analysts were expecting a 1.4% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company now expects earnings per share growth to be in the mid-single digits percentage range in fiscal 2022, compared to its previous forecast of low-single digits percentage growth. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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