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Home Depot Readies $15B Buy Back

December 06, 2017

Home Depot has provided an update on the five strategic priorities it established in 2015. The main areas are:

-Enhancing the Customer Experience: The Company will highlight the various ways it is leveraging its physical and digital assets to keep pace with changing customer expectations, while continuing to balance the art and science of retail to consistently deliver innovative products at the best value for its customers.

-Positioning for the Future: The Company will describe the key investments it will make to position itself as "One Home Depot." Key areas of investment include stores, associates, the interconnected customer experience, and the Company's supply chain and delivery capabilities.

-Creating Value: The Company will address its approach to creating shareholder value by delivering higher returns on invested capital and increasing total value returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases.

"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," said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president.

Fiscal Year 2017 Guidance

The Company reaffirmed its sales and diluted earnings-per-share guidance for fiscal 2017. The Company expects sales to increase approximately 6.3 percent for the year, with comparable store sales of approximately 6.5 percent. The Company also expects fiscal 2017 diluted earnings per share to grow approximately 14 percent to $7.36. The Company's diluted earnings-per-share guidance includes the benefit of its intent to repurchase an additional $2.1 billion of shares in the fourth quarter, bringing total fiscal 2017 share repurchases to $8 billion.

Long-Term Financial Targets

Today the Company will set out new long-term, fiscal 2020 financial targets as follows:

-Total sales ranging from approximately $114.7 billion to approximately $119.8 billion

-A compounded annual sales growth rate from the end of fiscal 2017 ranging from approximately 4.5 percent to approximately 6.0 percent

-Operating margin ranging from approximately 14.4 percent to 15.0 percent

-Annual capital spending of approximately 2.5 percent of sales

-Return on invested capital ranging from approximately 36.4 percent to 39.6 percent

Share Repurchase Authorization

The Company's Board of Directors announced a $15 billion share repurchase program, replacing its previous authorization. Since 2002 and through the third quarter of fiscal 2017, the Company has returned approximately $73 billion of cash to shareholders through repurchases, repurchasing approximately 1.3 billion shares.

At the end of the third quarter, the Company operated a total of 2,283 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. The Company employs more than 400,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.

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