NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Companies are quick to claim weather as an excuse for all manner of financial trial and suffering, but they are slow to credit it for good fortune. That's because weather is fleeting. Today's warmth is tomorrow's rain. Weather induced good times won't necessarily last. That's why it's doubly important for the media to recognize when weather has played a role in good earnings.
In the joint case of Lowe's and Home Depot, a sunny and warm winter in many regions boosted earnings considerably. A bit of improvement in the housing market played a role too, but homeowners had the opportunity to do more improvement projects, with the weather cooperative and a bit of extra cash saved from those lower home heating bills.
To some in the business media, this factor was all defining. To others--regrettably-- it did not even merit a mention. Reuters got it right in a headline: "Like Home Depot, Lowe's gains from warm winter."Right away, they zeroed in on the central issue: "The results echoed those from larger rival Home Depot (HD), which also reported stellar sales due to strong demand for everything from paint to concrete in the unseasonably warm quarter." Forbes mentions Home Depot, but no collective link with the warm weather. In fact, Forbes did not mention weather, warm or otherwise. Ditto for Zacks, which manages to bridge the subjects of the global economy, reformatted stores and even a new advertising tag line. But not word one on the warmer weather. Regrettable.
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