Coincidentally, one place where you can pay in person with eBay is Home Depot (HD - Get Report), another Rocket Stock on our list this week. The $95 billion home improvement retailer has made a stellar run in the last year, climbing more than 46% in the trailing 12 months. With housing data making a slow (but steady) improvement right now, Home Depot is well positioned to keep capturing home improvement spending.
Home Depot is the world's biggest home improvement retailer, with more than 2,250 big box stores spread across North America. While home prices do matter to Home Depot, the Great Recession showed investors that they matter a whole lot less than most of Wall Street expected. With consumers less apt to buy a newer, bigger home every few years, they instead opted for more budget conscious home improvement products -- and Home Depot still benefitted from the spending. While it entered 2008 with too big of a store footprint, it remedied its over-leveraged balance sheet with a successful restructuring program that boosted margins and positioned the firm extremely well for the ensuing rebound.As long as management can remember the lessons it learned a few years ago, investors can sleep easy. Home Depot's failed foray in the Chinese market provided a less costly lesson more recently. The firm can still squeeze some more margin growth out of North America, and economic tailwinds should do the rest in the near-to-mid-term.