there is no such thing as apples and oranges. Financial comparisons are on broader basis and can not be taken to minute details. The bottom line is HB stock rebound faster and earlier than the earning recovery. THe time to buy is when you do not see the day light and thats hard for most people to do. On risk adjusted basis it is a fair bet.
First - grocers, farmers and consumers would disagree that there is no such things as apples and oranges, but I digress.
If financial comparisons are only broad and details don't matter, then why not just throw darts at a board. They do matter and that why fund managers study macro, micro, industry, and companies to try and beat the street. There is a reason for technical/chart analysts and economists that know how industries work and have historical knowledge. Granted neither can guarantee any result. I've seen too many lazy or ill-informed analysts (Kim from Citi comes to mind), and economists that try to build models to included every detail and never reach decisions. Then the best model in the world can be blown up by human nature and its irrationality that plays a big part in the market too. In fact, a stock for any reason can buck an industry trend for some amount of time.
However, changing economic trends have to taken into account, or not only are bad investment decisions made, but often repeated. Buy low / sell high is always correct (for longs). However, there is a difference in getting in early because it only looks dark and catching the falling knife because we've only passed midnight and the darkness will remain for a long while.
Now, it's worse than dark, it's a vacuum. Nobody can tell when this turns around, and that's a screaming signal it's too early. You can't assume any reasonable value or fair risk in times of such bad data AND the lack of any optimism that things will change going forward for the foreseeable future.