Home Depot (HD): Bring Back Bob Nardelli

This is what Bloomberg said about Robert Nardelli in a piece written the day he joined Chrysler as CEO: “At Home Depot (HD), Nardelli doubled sales and the number of store operations while expanding into Mexico and China. The world’s largest home-improvement retailer delivered more than 20 percent earnings-per-share growth for four consecutive years and more than quintupled its dividend to 90 cents a share.”  Shareholders though he was paid too much and almost everyone thought he was an arrogant SOB.

From early 2003 to early 2006, Nardelli took the shares from $21 to $43. Then, the bottom began to fall out of housing, and HD dropped to $33 August 06. When he left at the beginning of this year, the stock was back at $40. Not so bad, really,

So far this year, the stock is off almost 10%.

Today, HD announced that its HD Supply sale to private equity was having difficulty due to the credit markets. The big home improvement operation also said it would have to drop the price at which it would buy in shares in its “Dutch auction”. That did the shares no good.

Chrysler is only only paying Nardelli $1 a year. Maybe he would come back to Home Depot, if they would pay him enough.

Douglas A. McIntyre