Home Depot's Numbers Show Housing's Still in the Basement

In spite of the Obama administration's latest effort to boost the U.S. housing market by extending the first-time homebuyer credit, numbers reported yesterday (Tuesday) by the nation's biggest home-improvement retailer, The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), indicate it could still be some time before the industry can claw its way out of the basement.

Home Depot reported sales of $16.36 billion for the fiscal quarter ended Nov. 1, down almost 8% from $17.78 billion in the comparable period last fiscal year. That resulted in an 8.9% drop in net income, which fell to $689 million, or 41 cents a share - down from the year-ago figures of $756 million, or 45 cents a share. Same-store sales were down 6.9% corporate-wide, and 7.1% in the United States.