Considers Spinoff of HD Supply Unit

Home Depot told investors and analysts gathered for a conference on February 28 that it expected the slump in the housing business will last through late 2007 or into 2008 and that its sales and earnings would continue to fall below expectations.

The company said it expects sales in 2007 to be flat to up 2%. Sales in 2006 were $90.84 billion. "While the current home-improvement market remains challenging, the long-term fundamentals of our company are strong, and we believe we can improve our performance and grow at, or faster than, the market beyond 2007," said Chairman and Chief Executive Frank Blake in a prepared statement.

Home Depot announced February 12 that it is conducting a "strategic evaluation" of its HD Supply wholesale business, which now accounts for $12 billion in sales in its 1,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada. That evaluation could result in a sale, spinoff or initial public offering, the company said. SEE RELEASE HERE