Home Depot sees moderate housing recovery

Home Depot gives analysts temperate view of housing market recovery

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Home Depot executives said the company expects a "moderate" housing recovery in the U.S. and remains focused on improving its supply chain and its Web offerings, according to analysts who attended a breakfast meeting with the company.

Citi Investment Research analyst Kate McShane said the company's temperate view of the housing recovery mainly reflects the fact that credit remains tightly constrained. Since it has little more room to grow in the U.S. and Canada, the company is focusing on improving store productivity and testing 5 paint stores in China, she wrote in a client note.

Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser said Home Depot is focusing its capital spending on information technology and e-commerce. About $450 million of the company's $1.5 billion capital spending this year will be on IT.

Home Depot has been outperforming its smaller rival Lowe's Cos. so far this year.

In Atlanta-based Home Depot's most recent quarter, the company reported net income rose 18 percent, helped by the gains in the housing market. Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's, meanwhile, said net income rose 3 percent, falling short of expectations, due to rainy weather hurting spring gardening sales.

Home Depot shares fell $1.03 to end Monday's session at $77.71. The stock is up nearly 26 percent since the start of the year.

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