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As the world's largest home improvement retailer,
Home Depot (
HD) has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of recent upside in the housing market. After all, more real estate transaction volume means more to-do lists for new buyers -- and the more equity homeowners build in their properties, the more they're willing to spend. Home Depot's 2,250 big box locations in North America provide just the place to do that.
But that doesn't mean that HD needs high home prices to stay afloat. The Great Recession revealed to Wall Street that homeowners are willing to spend money on home improvements when times are tough too; just not as aggressively. While Home Depot entered 2008 with too large 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.
Home Depot is in good financial shape today with reasonable leverage. Its restructuring efforts left the firm with a much better supply chain management apparatus, which means that it's able to get merchandise on shelves more cheaply and quickly than ever before -- and it can do a better job of pinpointing the products that consumers want to buy. So, as analysts pile into this stock this week, so are we.
To see all of this week's Rocket Stocks in action, check out
the Rocket Stocks portfolio at Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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