Lowe's Loss Is Home Depot's Gain

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Yesterday, home-improvement retailer Lowe’s helped set the tone for the day’s sorry action by reporting weak earnings and a bad outlook. Reporters rushed to announce that the whole DIY home thing was over.

Maybe not so fast.

Home Depot (HD) came out and beat earnings this morning, while lifting estimates. Of course, the numbers aren’t great:

Concerns about the housing market, rising unemployment and softness in the overall economy continue to pressure consumers,” said Frank Blake, chairman & CEO. “Our business performed well in a down market, we captured market share and drove operating productivity. The combination made for a solid quarter relative to our plan.

“I want to thank our associates for their hard work in an incredibly tough environment. Their passion and focus on customer service are our strongest competitive advantage.”

The Company confirmed that it believes that fiscal 2009 sales will be down approximately 9 per cent from fiscal 2008. Based on its year-to-date performance, the Company lifted its fiscal 2009 EPS guidance and now expects earnings per share from continuing operations to be flat to up 7 per cent from last year. On an adjusted basis, the Company now expects earnings per share from continuing operations to decline by 15 to 20 per cent.

Shares are up about $1 to $27 in pre-market action.

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