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Home Depot, an ongoing discussion....
(08-17-2019, 10:21 PM)NilesMike Wrote: 1) No problem conceptually, however tons of businesses come out and give free estimates on jobs that take a lot more time than measuring a rough opening.

2) Not my problem as to their inefficiency, they are setting the price for the install. Easy ones, tough ones already factored in.

3) I popped the trim, measured and reinstalled trim. No problem.

My carpenter nephew installed the stock door and storm door in a couple of hours.
It's a supply-demand thing here.  Good ecoomies cause that.  It's VERY hard to find somebody to install doors here, or most anything else for that matter.  Not everybody has a carpenter nephew.  I can install my own door.  I think my installer charges about 1/3 too much.  IMO he is recovering the part he has to pay HD for the hookup.  He does outsatnading work.  14 completed measures dropped on my desk just this morning.  He was behind on those too.  I have 15-20 doors in my storeroom waiting for him to install.  He's easily a month behind now.  He was six weeks behind most of the year.  If you were my customer he wouldn't care even if a little if you walked.  I'm the one that has to listen to you when I deliver the message.  I hate it, and that is why I try to keep a leash on him.  He jumped through the hoops and got HD legal.  I have begged some small contractors to do the work and offer some competition.  None have taken that step because they are busy too and don't need to pay HD a finders fee for work. 

Anyway, be as angry as you like at Lowes.  HD is doing the exact same thing.
HD has been enfuego!
(08-29-2019, 03:45 PM)NilesMike Wrote: HD has been enfuego!

They are indeed.  My Dept is crazy busy because it's fall.  I've seriously only threatened to quit once this week due to under staffing so things are looking up.  Smile
Haven't updated this thread in awhile. I verified yesterday that so far no HD store has been closed for the virus. It wouldn't be legal to share corporate numbers if I knew them (of course I don't). For those who are long, the following info is public with a little research. Stores are running shortened hours. On average they are open 3 HRs less per day, and the employees don't go home when we close early.. That may change as new schedules are made but so far no. Employee costs will definitely be up the next quarter or two. Every hourly employee got a $50-$100 weekly raise, and one to two extra weeks of additional sick leave which will be paid out in cash if you don't use it. (double leave for employees over age 65 which isn't many). That's a chunk of money.

I am going to guess they will trim forward earnings estimates, but get through this as well as a recessionary economy will allow. In normal times HD busy season starts now.
HD up nearly 60% off its lows.

(04-27-2020, 10:12 AM)NilesMike Wrote: HD up nearly 60% off its lows.


Its pretty nuts.  15% of my store's employees took off a few weeks or more off for the CV.  That's OK, but it's painful for the rest of us.  Other than temporary excessive employee costs, they are doing more than fine IMO.  One thing I know for sure is I just had my best sales day in about five months.  Mostly bored people from IL sneaking across the river... seriously.  Smile
Not like I am privvy to corporate level finance but I see my district numbers so now that earnings are posted it's nothing like insider info sharing. HD earnings were exactly what I expected. Business is nuts and very elevated employee costs to offset it. The older employees are paid full wages to just stay home for 5-6 weeks and they pick the dates. The rest of us getting 20% weekly bonuses so we won't be jealous of others that are laid off. Next quarter is Christmas for HD and Lowes. We are crushing sales. I don't believe it was intentional but this has been a big transfer of revenue from shut down non-essential small Biz to big box. Q3 and Q4 should be interesting as we have competition for shoppers dollars. HD chickened out and pulled forward guidance. I didn't expect that but probably a good idea since the stock has spiked like nothing could possibly go wrong.
Haven't updated this thread for six months so why not. I've worked for HD for over 25 months now. I continue to believe they are best in class in their niche. Still more efficient than Lowes though they have closed the gap some. As I've mentioned Lowes CEO brought some of our procedures to LOW and it was a wise move. We no longer grow sales twice as fast. hey stepped it up to at least 80% of HD now, and even better some recent quarters. HD has handled the Covid challenges better than I expected. Very few employee infections and the daily health screening has something to do with that, and general practices of course. Huge improvement in online and curbside pickup. They put a huge effort into navigating this.

I think HD is a "Hold" right now. LOW is a probably a weak buy after the small SP recovery last week. I even flipped some LOW shares. 2021 over 2020 COMPS are going to be VERY challenging for both HD and LOW after growing 25-30% instead of the usual 3-6%. Market may shrug it off, but I don't see a trigger for a big run unless the market loses it's mind. (yet again lol) Another factor is wage pressure and it's not going away. Amazon, Costco and Target really raised the bar with substantial minimum wage increases. HD responded with a weekly Covid pay kicker which lasted until last week. They ended that and just gave everyone a permanent raise that was about 75% of the bonus. I just received my fourth pay raise in two years. Still just a retired guy job of course but it's nice to be acknowledged and be paid a little better than most. I am SO thankful for the awesome job I had before I retired. I can't imagine trying to survive today and making $16-18/HR after 10+ years service, but that is just retail if you aren't managing a store..

I do look forward to adding significantly to my HD position but I really believe I'll have a chance to buy shares somewhat cheaper. I believe that is true for most big box retailers. They'll get hammered if a decent stimulus doesn't happen and unemployment rises with the latest Covid wave. I am as sure as one can be about that. The jury is out on holiday season shopping. It will probably be good enough.
Hey I just found this thread. Didn't know you worked at HD fenders, cool.

So I bought HD here where the arrow points, so it's been a very pleasant surprise. I assume this price movement is all because of the stimulus, right?

[Image: d9027f73-dfa9-4437-80d3-0ea24491ce1f.png]
I am your online source for insider HD trading. Just kidding, not like I am attending meetings at corporate before the earnings call. I'll tell you what anyone could learn with a bit of DD. HD grew sales 5-6% annually since forever. Like a light switch Covid turned it up to 20% which is beyond amazing. 14 months later nothing has changed. It's spring now which is actually HD and LOW Christmas season. All competitors in the sector are doing fine and the new stimulus is rolling in. I see no end to it soon. Some day comps will be impossible and HD will suddenly be very over valued. I have no prediction what quarter that is. I do know that I work at the #1 store in my district last month, quarter and year. Our numbers are nuts. HD has 2300 stores so that number by itself is meaningless. We are crushing corporate average numbers. Some stores are not.

Here are a few random comments for discussion. Some is my opinion and some is fact. It will all be relevant eventually.

-New housing starts have pent up demand for sure, but much of what goes into a house is commodity based costs at a time like this. A common 2x4 wall stud rose 300% over 2019 and has backed down to 200%. A 4x8 sheet of OSB sheathing you would put under the shingles and your siding was about $12 in 2019. It's $38 now and there are a lot of sheets in a modest sized house. Commodities are extremely low margin for HD. The lowest in the store. Timber mills getting that money. Builders are not going to honor contracts because they just can't. Will new home buyers pay a $50K upcharge for materials? In some places they probably will. I don't know how that plays out across the nation. All contracts from a pro have a materials cost clause. They say high commodity prices cure high commodity prices. That is how this will end. I sold my timber mill stocks I bought a few years ago. Smile I am sure HD would make more money if prices cooled off because this is DEFINETLY going to kill lumber demand before long. It just has to.

-Labor costs have escalated and it's permanent. AMZN and TGT raised their minimum wage to $15. HD is feeling the pressure. I was getting Covid Hazard pay when other retailers stopped paying it. In AUG I got my obligatory merit raise of about 3%. I lead my specialty dept in sales (I'm not the fulltimer anymore) or they might have docked my raise a nickel/HR lol. To my surprise 6 weeks later they gave everyone with any tenure a raise equaling about 3 years of merit raises. Point is labor costs are up significantly and permanently. It's all covered up in massive but not permanent sales growth. They had no choice as I am skilled labor and I could have stocked grocery aisles at TGT before the raise and skipped the stress. HD will definitely fire you if you won't perform. They have to pay a little for that.

On a personal note if any of that sounded like I am disgruntled I didn't mean it that way. HD tries to treat their emloyees with respect. We get more training than any competitor by miles. They don't want to staff with clueless kids and customers do notice that. I enjoy my job though it is stressful because they understaff even worse after raises. My store's management is very good and I know they are under big pressure to always beat last quarter, do it with less staffing etc. This has nothing to do with HD stock price but my DEPT does get slow in JAN-FEB. They cut my hours in half and it annoyed me. When I saw my schedule I requested a leave of absence. "Call me when you need me enough to make it worth my time to dig my car out of a snowbank and drive in from the country on snowy roads". Store manager called me in and said "I got the schedule open. You tell me what days and hours you'd like to work and I'll fix this right now". That's when I knew my sales were probably more than good enough lol. Maybe I am fortunate but it's my impression managers are trained to work with knowledgeable part-timers life schedules. My store sure does it and it's not the only one. The highest skilled employees have other options and they know it. They seem to be smart about it. Some retailers just treat their employees as disposable. That is not a great plan.

Back to the subject, the HD ride is going to be interesting soon IMO. Great company but the ride is not going to be straight up much longer IMO. It's a beloved stock so it will MOMO whenever there is a reason and for now there is a reason. No chance I will add shares at these levels. No chance I won't add after the inevitable correction happens. LOW is not a better company. I'm not sure they will close the gap soon. But LOW stock is more compelling today. HD is a great company at a ridiculous price. LOW is an almost as good company at a better price. The best is worth a premium. But how much premium? I don't know.

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