Home Depot and Lowe’s Companies have experienced incredibly strong comparable store sales growth during the initial phases of the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic. Past digital investments enabled both companies to better meet surging demand during these turbulent times, and demand growth is coming from both professional (i.e. contractors, home builders) and non-professional (i.e. more affluent households in the suburbs) consumers. The biggest thing holding both companies back is their large net debt loads and sizable operating lease liabilities, in our view, though please note that their cash flow profiles are stellar. It appears the North American home improvement and construction business is holding up quite well, all things considered, highlighting the industry’s resilience.
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