Home Depot

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expects to report earnings of 28 cents a share for the fourth quarter and income of $1.27 for 2001, both of which would be in line with Wall Street's forecasts. The company expects revenue to grow 15% to 18% from 2002 through 2004, which would give the company $100 billion in revenue by 2005. Home Depot also forecast earnings growth of 18% to 20% during the same time period.The company offered the projections despite its internal forecast that the home improvement industry will grow only about 3% annually over the next three years. The company expects flat home improvement industry sales in 2001 and 2002, with modest growth in the following two years.

Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures

Cable & Wireless


agreed to buy the assets of bankrupt

Exodus Communications


for $580 million in cash. Cable & Wireless will also assume $270 million of debt and liabilities.

Discovery Partners


might be the target of a takeover effort, according to a magazine report. According to


, the research-products company could be the target of a takeover bid by a large pharmaceuticals company. The story cited Discovery shareholder Flacks Investment Partners.



agreed to acquire privately held Ocular Networks for $355 million in cash and options. The companies expect to close the deal in the first quarter of 2002.

Analyst Actions

Lehman Brothers analyst Dan Niles raised his fourth-quarter earnings estimate on


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to 10 cents from 8 cents and his revenue forecast to $6.8 billion from $6.6 billion, according to


. He also increased his 2002 estimate to 62 cents from 55 cents. Still, the analyst said investors should be prepared to sell going into the Dec. 6 midquarter update conference call.

Miscellaneous News



said Chief Financial Officer John Sayward resigned for personal reasons. The company is searching for a replacement.



raised more than $11 million in equity capital through a $9.2 million private placement of common stock with institutional investors and a $2 million exercise of warrants.

After Thursday's Close



posted fourth-quarter earnings, excluding items, of 2 cents a share on revenue of $308 million. For the first quarter, the company forecast revenue of $265 million to $275 million, which would probably lead Novell to break even before any items were factored in. The company's results in the latest quarter beat estimates by 2 cents, and the outlook would also top analysts' expectations.



reiterated its expectations of earning 11 cents a share in the fourth quarter. The chip equipment maker also bumped up its shipment forecast to $165 million. However, the company trimmed its expected fourth-quarter bookings from a previous estimate between $125 million and $150 million to a lowered range of $100 million to $125 million. Novellus also projected for the first time a loss in the first quarter of 2002, without giving specifics.