Earnings season reflects a comeback

During the unofficial earnings season for home improvement on Wall Street — companies tracked by HCN produced a decidedly positive stream of earnings reports.

Of 30 companies tracked from July 9 (WD-40) to Aug. 22 (Sears), five companies showed losses, six were in the black but also showed a decline, and a full 16 showed year-over-year growth in the double-digit percentages, including a gaudy 182% increase at LED lighting manufacturer CREE.

Among the double-digit gainers were the world’s largest and second largest home improvement retailers. The Atlanta-based Home Depot’s company’s earnings call produced an exchange that might rank as one of the most obvious A’s in a financial Q&A in a long time.

Analyst: “Can you handle a 20% increase in comps?” 

Home Depot executive VP merchandising Craig Menear: “We certainly would like to give it a shot.”

Generally, the talk during upbeat conference calls expounded upon the recovery. “Home improvement demand was strong during the quarter,” said Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock.

Still, the earnings season wasn’t all runaway growth. Builders FirstSource, BlueLinx, PlyGem, RONA and Sears posted net losses for the second quarter.

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