The home-improvement giant is moving to get its house in order.
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If Home Depot's fortunes are linked to housing, why is the stock up since the mortgage meltdown of 2008?
It may be tacit approval of management's new blueprint for success -- as well as a reflection of how poorly the stock performed during the housing boom under former CEO Robert Nardelli. From 2001 through 2006 the shares lost ground while rival Lowe's stock nearly tripled.
Gone are ancillary businesses like Home Depot's industrial supply unit and its upscale design centers. The firm also cut back on U.S. store growth, focusing instead on improving sales in its current locations. So far, so good. Last year the company generated $280 in sales per square foot, vs. $247 for Lowe's.