Home Depot Inc. said Thursday that it would close 15 stores at a cost of 1,300 jobs and scrap plans for 50 new stores as the U.S. housing slump cripples sales.
The company's stock had its biggest gain in a month after saying it would slow expansion of floor space to 1.5% next year from 2.5% this year. The Atlanta-based chain maintained its forecast for a decline in earnings per share of 19% to 24% this year.
Since taking over in January 2007, Chief Executive Frank Blake sold the company's commercial-builder unit and closed landscape and floor outlets to focus on retail stores, where customer service trails that of Lowe's Cos.
Shares of Home Depot rose $1.07 on Thursday to $29.87. The moves will cost Home Depot $586 million, mostly in the first quarter.