Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is the largest home improvement retailer in the U.S., which also means HD stock is linked closely with the housing market.
Whether it’s DIYers looking to upgrade their bathroom cabinets or full-on home renovations done by professionals, HD is the one-stop shop to go to. And it has been expanding its dominance in recent years.
So much so that its closest competitor, Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) recently announced that it’s closing 51 stores to try to be more competitive.
Basically, this sector and HD stock are under a bit of pressure now, as the construction season is slowing down due to colder weather and e-commerce is eating into the companies’ broader offerings, like cleaning products, tools, etc.
In a model where a shopper goes to the store, buys the core supplies and then picks up secondary tools and supplies in the big box store, it works great for the customer, but this model can be more challenging for the store. Now that e-commerce is such a part of daily routines, many people shop online before they go shopping, which means less secondary sales in-store.
Also, with rising interest rates, home construction and remodeling is slowing to wait and see where the markets will stabilize.
This explains why HD stock is now in the red about 4% year-to-date. The entire housing sector started the year strong, only to suffer in recent months.
But there is some hope. First, while LOW did announce closing 51 stores, 31 of them are in Canada. HD also operates in Canada as well as Mexico, but HD has leaned more on its professional customers than its individual consumers.
This has helped Home Depot continue to generate regular quarterly earnings that come in above expectations for nearly five years now. And HD — and Home Depot stock — is the prime beneficiary of LOW store closings, so that will help if the market remains tight.
Then again, with 2,200 stores in North America, gaining a competitive edge in 51 markets isn’t going to be a game-changer for Home Depot stock.
Bottom Line on HD Stock
Another encouraging sign for HD is that LOW is actually using HD’s game plan to revamp its competitive model.
LOW brought in new CEO Marvin Ellison in July. Previously he was CEO of struggling retailer JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) and before that, was an executive at none other than Home Depot.
So, essentially, you have a proven turnaround leader that learned some of his tools of the trade from HD. If anything is a testament to the way HD is managed at the top, this is a good sign.
What’s more, HD is continuing to surprise on earnings, which is proof that even during the housing slowdown, HD knows how to grow. And it’s not revamping its strategy or doing something new; it is executing on its proven game plan.
The company is still being punished for the industry it’s in, so HD stock isn’t showing the value that it deserves, which is why it still draws a B rating in my Portfolio Grader. That means, for long-term growth investors this is a smart time to buy in.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of four investing newsletters: Growth Investor, Breakthrough Stocks, Accelerated Profits and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Growth Investor, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.