HD, Home Depot

hd aug 19 2014

Home Depot is big on DIY projects. Back in June 20, 2007 the company decided to buy-back 22.5 bln. of it’s own stock. The stock was trading at about $40 at the time and the buy-back represented about 1/3 of the total float. This time the company promises to buy-back 17 bln. which is about 12/13% of the present float. This is at a time that the company is doing quite well thanks in part to hurricane Sandy. Nowadays markets always applaud buy-backs as a sort of tax-free dividend. There are still places in the world where the practice is illegal and certainly in all cases one would have to wonder how dim a view management has on the company’s prospects to reduce the availability of capital. Perhaps borrowed money is now cheaper than equity and this behaviour is warranted, but that still leaves the timing. On that score this DIY economic tinkering is the writing on the wall.