Home Depot Boosts Dividend

The home improvement giant also authorizes a $1 billion buyback.
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Home Depot

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raised its quarterly dividend to 8.5 cents from 7 cents, citing its recent strong earnings performance. The company also authorized a $1 billion-share buyback.

Based on Wednesday's close of $35.46, Home Depot shares currently have a dividend yield of about 1%.

On May 18, Home Depot said it earned $1.1 billion, or 49 cents a share, in the quarter ended May 2, compared with earnings of $908 million, or 39 cents a share, in the year earlier. Sales rose 16.2% to $17.55 billion. It also boosted its forecast of 2004 sales growth.