Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Home Depot’s less bad news


homedepot1Check out how less bad is the new good.

The latest example of this new reality is Home Depot’s revised profit outlook.

The world’s biggest home improvement retailer said this year’s earnings from continuing operations could be flat to down 7 percent.  That compares with its earlier call for a fall of 7 percent.

Home Depot Chief Executive Frank Blake said in a meeting with analysts that economic indicators are signaling that the worst of the housing downturn is over.

Home Depot still expects sales to fall by about 9 percent this year, with sales at stores open at least a year down in a high-single-digit percentage range. It expects gross margins to be flat to slightly higher.