Updated at 9:41 am EST
Home Depot (HD) shares edged higher Friday after the home improvement retailer unveiled a new $15 billion share buyback program, held its dividend in place and named new CEO Ted Decker as group chairman following stronger-than-expected second quarter profits earlier this week.
Home Depot said it would pay a quarterly dividend of $1.90 per share, a level that matches its first quarter payout and extending its run of dividends to 142 consecutive quarters. The group also approved a $15 billion buyback plan, replacing a similar-sized authorization put in place in 2017.
Decker, a 22-year veteran of the firm who was named group CEO earlier this year, will replace retiring chairman Craig Menear on September 30.
“During Ted’s tenure as CEO and a member of the board, we have witnessed firsthand his passion for the customer experience and our associates, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as chair,” said lead director Greg Brenneman. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Craig for his unwavering commitment to The Home Depot’s values and his visionary leadership, which established a solid foundation for the long-term success of the company.”
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Home Depot shares were marked 0.1% higher in early Friday trading Friday to change hands at $325.10 each.
Earlier this week, Home Depot reiterated its full-year profit forecast after topping Street estimates for its July quarter earnings as it saw an unexpected surge in home improvement demand amid a slowing housing market.
Group revenues were up 6% at $43.8 billion, helped by a 5.8% increase in same-store sales and a 9.1% jump in average tickets, even as the overall number of transactions fell 3%. That helped profits rise 11.5% from last year to a Street-beating $5.05 per share.
Looking into the 2022 fiscal year, which ends next January, Home Depot reiterated that it sees ‘mid single digit’ earnings growth, up from its prior forecast of ‘low single digit’ gains, and comparable sales growth of around 3% and operating margins of around 15.4%
While the business performed very well and our consumers remain resilient through the first half of the year, we are navigating a unique environment. We can’t predict how the evolving macroeconomic backdrop will impact our customer going forward,” Decker told investors on a conference call earlier this week.
“Despite near-term uncertainties, we believe that the long-term underpinnings of demand for home improvement remains strong and that we are well-positioned to leverage our distinct competitive advantages to capitalize on compelling growth opportunities in our space,” he added.
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