Home Depot looks for strong growth, watches Mexican peso

The chief executive of Home Depot said the Atlanta-based company expects a strong 2017.

A solid year for real estate is crucial, he said during a conference call with analysts and reporters.

"Strength in the US housing market will continue to support growth in our business,” said Craig Menear.

Company officials said they expect 4.6 percent growth in sales this year.

As an international company with both costs and revenues crossing various borders, Home Depot watches currency rates pretty closely.

In the last quarter of 2016, for example, a weaker Mexican peso hurt company revenues, officials said.

The company today reported sales of $22.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016, up 5.8 percent from the same period during the previous year.

Net earnings for the last quarter were $1.7 billion.

During 2016, the company had revenue of $94.6 billion, a rise of 6.9 percent from 2015.

Home Depot boosted its stock dividend 29 percent, to 89 cents a share.