Home Depot profit rises with growth in basic-fix purchases
I am no stock guru…in fact I only own a couple publicly traded stocks…but this headline grabbed my attention.
Earlier this week, the second-quarter earnings reports came out for most publicly traded companies. I was riding in my car listening to the financial news (I know…BORING) when I head that Home Depot and Wal-Mart had posted higher than expected earnings. So…it got me thinking as to why, in this economy (especially with construction being down) would the world’s largest home improvement retailer see such an increase. So I have doing some research.
The first place I turned was the Wall Street Journal web based Market Watch report. This was very enlightening. If you read the report you will see that:
1. Home Depot’s profits rose 6.8%
2. Lowes (a direct competitor) profits rose 10%
3. Standard & Poor’s Equity Research analyst Michael Souers upgraded Home Depot to hold from sell
So…why the increase in profit? Well, according to the WSJ report, it is based on what is being purchased. According to thge report “Large tickets, for transactions above $900, fell 4.9% as professionals remain slow to get back to major projects; tickets under $50 grew 2.4%, driven by day-to-day maintenance jobs.”
What does this indicate to me with regards to stewarding the facilities God has entrusted us with… particularly in these tough times? I believe it is an indicator that more and more people (including churches) are taking stock in the assets that they already have and spending the available resources on extending the life of these assets by fixing, repairing, maintaining and managing these assets. In talking to many churches, I am seeing a couple trends:
1. Churches are more likely to find a way to extend the life of facilites and equipment than to buy/build new
2. Churches are more likely to find a different way to “program” to meet their needs than to add new facilities.
3. For those churches that need to build just to continue providing space for their growing ministries, they are considering smaller projects than 2-3 years ago. (call Jim Shepphard at Generis and ask him how many of their campaigns were for new construction over the past 12 months).
So…what is the take away? I think it boils down to a more acute understanding of stewardship…which is more about taking care if what has been give to us (entrusted) than what we “give”. In the case of our ministry facilities, it comes down to a better understanding of facility stewardship…which is caring for the facilities God has entrusted to us to facilitate ministry.
How are you doing with your facility stewardship? Keep in mind that this goes beyond just “maintenance” but also includes facility Management…which leads to maintenance.