Home Depot last week announced that its board of directors authorized an additional $3.5 billion to repurchase outstanding shares, bringing the total authorized share repurchase program to $17.5 billion. As of the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2006, the company had repurchased $12.5 billion under this authorization. The board also approved a second quarter dividend of 15 cents.
"Our strong financial discipline and clear growth strategy allow us to balance capital allocation between investing in our business and returning cash to our shareholders,” said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO. “In 2006 we will invest approximately $3.8 billion back into the business, with over 90 percent to be invested in our retail stores. Since 2001, we have invested $19 billion back into the business, while also returning over $16 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends."
The company increased its quarterly dividend by 50 percent in January 2006, resulting in a 275-percent increase over the past five years. In addition, since 2002, the company has repurchased 349 million shares, or 17 percent of outstanding shares.
This is the 78th consecutive quarter the company has paid a cash dividend. The dividend is payable on Sept. 21, to shareholders of record on the close of business on Sept. 7, 2006.
Atlanta-based Home Depot Rentals is No. 5 on the RER 100.