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Barclays analyst drives optimism for housing

BY HBSDEALER Staff

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When an analyst compliments a CEO during an earnings call, that’s nothing. But when a CEO compliments an analyst — that’s news.

That unusual scenario occurred during the USG earnings conference call late last month, when USG CEO James Metcalf fielded a question from Barclays analyst Stephen Kim. After explaining that customers who stocked up on materials earlier in the year are ready to buy again, Metcalf got personal with the analyst, complimenting his recent note comparing the housing market with an old car.

The call quickly moved on to other questions. But a little research shows that Metcalf wasn’t the only person impressed by Kim’s research note.

In his note, Kim compared the Housing market of about 18 months ago with his brown 1972 Oldsmobile station wagon. “The steering was vague, the brakes lazy, and the radio couldn’t play FM stations.” It was the housing market’s version of dilapidated foreclosures and home equity retrenchment.

“After stabilizing in 2012, both new and existing home prices are now accelerating much more rapidly than in the 1990s cycle.”

His research note upgraded the housing sector from “neutral” to “positive,” as he anticipates home prices will grow 10% in 2013 and another 8% in 2014.

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Groundbreaking planned for wounded veteran

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Rhode Island Builders Association and Builders Helping Heroes in partnership with Homes for Our Troops are planning a May 18 groundbreaking for the home of an injured veteran.

The specially adapted-home project for Corporal Kevin Dubois will break ground in Burrillville, R.I.

The event is requesting community support for volunteers, tents, tables, chairs, podium and sound system, according to Doreen Lewis, community outreach coordinator. She can be reached at [email protected]

For more news and information regarding home-building industry efforts to aid veterans, visit Homechannelnews.com/hcn-helping-veterans-crusade.

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Impulse season has sprung

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sweetwater Farm & Garden, a Farm Mart store in Robbinsville, N.C., is giving spring sales a little push with nostalgic centerpieces and can’t-miss endcaps.

"A 1953 John Deere tractor has been a centerpiece of the store for a number of years," John Lovin said. "By incorporating the tractor with the seasonal items we want to promote, we are able to offer nostalgia and hopefully encourage impulse purchases."

He added: "Special displays help us create a customer-friendly atmosphere."

Lovin said he creates seasonal displays year-round that push the right buttons. In the winter, the store has featured a special display of snow shovels and sleds. Another endcap promoted products for chickens, such as waterers, feeders and poultry supplies.

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