Home Depot to improve stores; sets $120 billion sales goal

The nation's largest home improvement retailer on Wednesday authorized a $15 billion share repurchase program and said it would accelerate investments in key areas of its business, including its stores.

Home Depot plans to invest in such areas as its stores, associates, supply chain and delivery capabilities. CNBC put the investment at $4.5 billion over the next three years, and said the chain would also build a new website for professionals.

"The retail landscape is changing at unprecedented rates and we plan to invest for the future to address the evolving needs of our customers," said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president. "We will accelerate our investments, while continuing to focus on delivering the value our shareholders expect from The Home Depot."

The company also set fiscal 2020 financial targets that include growing its annual sales from $114.7 billion to $119.8 billion, and a compounded annual sales growth rate from the end of fiscal 2017 ranging from 4.5% to 6%. It set annual capital spending at approximately 2.5% of sales.

Home Depot also reaffirmed its forecast for the remainder of fiscal 2017, saying it expects sales to increase approximately 6.3% for the year, with an approximate same-store increase of 6.5%.

Since 2002 and through the third quarter of fiscal 2017, the Atlanta-based home improvement giant has returned approximately $73 billion of cash to shareholders through repurchases, repurchasing approximately 1.3 billion shares, Home Depot said.