Buy This, Not That: Home Depot (HD) vs. Lowe’s (LOW)

By TradeSmith Editorial Staff

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With the housing market cooling off, home improvement stores are expected to see a decrease in demand. If fewer homes are being sold, then that means fewer folks buying cans of paint and lighting fixtures in order to spruce up their homes and make those photos pop.

LikeFolio Co-Founder Andy Swan is seeing this tapering of demand in his real-time data, with mentions of buying a home down 24% year-over-year (YoY) and mentions of home renovations down 11% YoY.

But among that data, Andy also uncovered a housing trend that is picking up: an increase in mentions about hiring a contractor, which are up 9% YoY.

People may have delayed putting their house on the market for months or even years until interest rates went down and fears of a recession subsided. And if they plan to be in their current home for a while, they may be turning to professionals to add personal touches that require more skill than a DIY project from Pinterest.

To get the supplies they need for these jobs, many contractors start by turning to two stores: Home Depot Inc. (HD) and Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW).

On the surface, there isn’t much that distinguishes HD and LOW as investments.

They offer nearly identical business models and fill their shelves with the same tools and supplies.

As of this writing, the HD stock price is down 13.42% over the last year and has a dividend yield of 2.41%, while LOW is down 11.97% and has a dividend yield of 2.05%.

Yet, in 2021, contractors accounted for 45% of one of the two companies’ revenue and only 20% to 25% of the other company’s revenue.

And with LikeFolio’s proprietary data, Andy has found that the same company that brings in more money from contractors has happier customers and more demand growth for its services.

In the home improvement battle of TradeSmith’s Buy This, Not That, Andy can tell you in less than nine minutes why one company is the clear winner over the other.