Home Depot Inc. plans to buy back as much as $15 billion of stock after quarterly earnings fell short of analysts’ expectations, casting doubt on a growth story that has lifted the stock 50 percent in the past three years.
Fourth-quarter earnings per share were $2.09, the retailer said. Analysts had estimated $2.16. Same-store sales rose 3.2 percent, trailing estimates of 4.5 percent.
With its fourth-quarter disappointment, Home Depot joined a host of other retailers. The results came amid a historic cold snap in the U.S., where it generates more than 90 percent of its sales, and a shutdown of the federal government.