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Professional Demand, Holiday Interest Boosts Home Depot Earnings...is Lowe's Next?

November 16, 2021

Home Depot shares traded at all-time highs today after the retailer beat market expectations for earnings and revenue. Even though transactions fell by -5.5% in the quarter, consumers spent more on each trip. This ticket increase (+12.9%), high interest in Holiday-related items (like its massive Halloween skeleton yard decoration), and continued professional demand helped bolster sales. Home Depot noted that professional clients still have long backlogs of projects to complete. LikeFolio picked up on this growing demand for contractors and tapering of DIY projects earlier this year. Data confirms shift has continued in the last month, visible on the chart below.

Lowe's mirrored these comments on its last earnings call: "As anticipated, during the quarter, we saw a decline in DIY demand versus last year as many families transition back to pre-COVID purchase patterns and weekend mobility after Memorial Day." With Home Depot's report in mind, can Lowe's meet elevated expectations? Here are a couple of things to consider: A shift from DIY to professional gives Home Depot a slight edge that Lowe's may not equally capture. Why? Around ~45% of Home Depot's total sales are driven by professional projects vs. 20-25% at Lowe's. But Likefolio data DOES show Lowe's making some headway with DIY consumers.

1. Lowe's is closing the Happiness gap. In the past month, consumer happiness levels for Home Depot and Lowe's is nearly identical. Historically, Home Depot has boasted consumer happiness levels higher than Lowe's (in 2019 HD led by +2.5%). 2. Lowe's demand tapering looks slightly less severe vs. Home Depot. On the scatter chart above, you can see the YoY tempering of demand mentions that tilts toward DIY shoppers fares a bit better. Lowe's reports 21Q3 earnings Nov. 17 before the bell.

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