Home Depot Sets $15 Billion Buyback Plan, Confirms 2017 Guidance

Home improvement giant Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) on Wednesday announced a fresh stock buyback program of $15 billion to replace its existing program, confirmed its already announced fiscal year 2017 guidance and revealed financial targets for fiscal year 2020.

The company reiterated the guidance it provided when it reported third-quarter earnings last month. At that time, Home Depot raised its sales guidance from a prior estimate for an increase of 5.3% year over year to an increase of 6.3%. Same-store sales guidance was raised from an increase of 5.5% to 6.5%. Home Depot also lifted diluted EPS guidance from a prior estimate of $7.29 to $7.36, up 14%, including the impact of $8 billion in share buybacks for the 2017 fiscal year.

CEO Craig Menear said:

The retail landscape is changing at unprecedented rates and we plan to invest for the future to address the evolving needs of our customers. We will accelerate our investments, while continuing to focus on delivering the value our shareholders expect from The Home Depot.

The company’s 2020 targets include:

  • Total sales ranging from approximately $114.7 billion to $119.8 billion
  • A compounded annual sales growth rate from the end of fiscal 2017 ranging from approximately 4.5% to 6.0%
  • Operating margin ranging from approximately 14.4% to 15.0%
  • Annual capital spending of approximately 2.5% of sales
  • Return on invested capital ranging from approximately 36.4% to 39.6%

Home Depot also plans to improve its online sales and services offerings, making them more connected to the company’s physical stores. That will cost money, of course and that will have an effect on margin growth. The good news is that, if done right, the improvements will better position the company for longer term growth.

Shares traded down about 1.4% late Wednesday morning, at $180.25 in a 52-week range of $128.75 to $186.31. The stock’s 12-month consensus price target is $181.47.

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