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Leisa
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I have worked in an executive financial capacity (CFO) for more than 25 years. In 2005, I became a serious student of the market to gain a better understanding of successful investing/trading. I began my blog, The Perplexed Investor, to provide an honest narrative of my process. My blog and my... More
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The Perplexed Investor
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  • Home Depot and Lowes
    This post can be filed under, "Wondering Out Loud" on the big box home improvement stores, Home Depot and Lowe's.  On two occasions I went to Home Depot (HD) during T-1 and T-2 days before Christmas.  I had the same experience with Lowe's (LOW) just a week before Christmas.  Each time and each place, there were more salespeople in the store than customers. While one generally appreciates attentive service, sometimes "Can I help you find something?" is not a question I wish to answer every 2 minutes as I change aisles.

    Lowe's earns kudos for merchandising their product.  The Home Depot format obscured the product offerings, and their pricing was not nearly as competitive as Lowe's, nor were their product offerings as wide in some categories.  I did score a Makita hammer drill at Home Depot for a terrific price, but it was in the clearance section.  Lowe's had several brand name, high end tools marked down to "too-low-to-walk-away-from" prices.

    Not too many years ago, Home Depot (and Lowes) were singular stores in cities...now there are as many as 4-5 stores within a 20 mile radius.  Let's take a look at the weekly charts: (click images to make larger)


     


    Dividend payments and more consumer optimism have certainly buoyed stock prices, and both companies have been buying back stock.  However, ultimately the business model revolves on attracting foot traffic + sales. 

    Common sense tells me that I should have had to wait in a line to pay for my goods or have gone in search of a sales associate during this time of year. Should all of the customers be part of the army of internet shoppers, surely the large box footprint will weigh heavily on those on-line margins.  It will be interesting to see how the sales comps come in.  Perhaps my experience is local  Richmond, VA.  We must be on guard to making generalizations from limited specifics.  Nevertheless,  the comments from everyone this season echoed my own experience: "there are not too many shoppers out."

    Ultimately, common sense prevails.


    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Dec 28 10:15 PM | Link | 3 Comments
  • Homebuilders
    Residential Construction had a turbo-boost from KBH's news yesterday.  Big movers on the week were (CHCI, MTH, PHM, and KBH), all with moves greater than 12%.  Bears had their hands in the cookie jar, and some are missing a few fingers.  I created a weekly chart book for you on these names which you can access here.

    Also, for those wanting a headstart on the weekly sector report for 01/07/11, you can find that here.
    Jan 08 11:53 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Communications Equipment Sector
    Communications Equipment sector caught my eye as I was putting my weekly sector report post together.    AFOP was a star performer last week. There are some interesting chart set ups in that sector.  I  put a chart book (weekly charts) together for you on this sector.  I found several charts that look interesting.  Some of these stocks are thinly traded.  You can see the profiles and another chart view on FINVIZ.
    Jan 02 12:39 PM | Link | Comment!
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