Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Real Money on Nov. 13. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
Management doesn't conquer all, but boy it can conquer a lot. This morning we saw terrific numbers from two retailers, Home Depot (HD) and Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), and I have to tell you that much of what was good this quarter can be placed right at the feet of the people who run the companies. Home Depot's Frank Blake and Dick's' Ed Stack are two remarkable CEOs who are worthy of exuberant praise.
Home Depot's quarter shows a remarkable 2.9% increase in average ticket price, to $54.55, an important metric because it says that people are spending more on their houses than they did before. The average number of customers shopping at Home Depot showed a hefty increase, too.
Of course, similar to all great managements, the humility here is astounding. Blake took no credit whatsoever for the amazing numbers. Instead he said the strength was because of the "the start of the path of healing of the housing market." What Blake didn't point out, but I will, is that Home Depot performed incredibly well when the housing market was awful, so these numbers should be put in the context of the consistency that Home Depot has given you during the entire Blake reign.Even better, and an added reason why the stock has run so much, Home Depot will be the destination to repair the devastation caused by Sandy. My big worry for Home Depot was the possible gap between lost store dollars from weather closings and the ultimate spend to repair. Blake told you not to worry, and sure enough, one of the best performing stocks in the DJIA, up 50% year-to-date, just got better. Dick's is a terrific story, too. When things are slowing down in the economy, you don't go and buy yourself expensive sneakers or exorbitantly priced outdoor goods. But Dick's triumphed over the suddenly beleaguered consumer and delivered a terrific 5% comparable store gain and forecast more good things ahead. Again, I have to put that at the feet of Stack's management, because a somewhat related company, Cabela's (CAB), failed to deliver during this period, citing the wrong weather for its outerwear selections. I don't want to slam Cabela's too much -- a spate of colder weather might be just what that sporting goods' chain needs -- but that does make me feel even better about what Dick's is up to.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV