In a day that saw the Dow drop 180 points, Lowe’s (LOW, $24.54, up $0.04) reported 2Q earnings that beat Wall Street’s estimates and its stock held steady. We all knew the housing market would still have an affect on Lowe’s but considering the circumstances, Lowe’s earnings report was actually pretty sweet.

The company reported a profit of $938 million, or $0.64 a share, down about 8% from $1.02 billion, or $0.67 a share, a year earlier. The key that bulls focused on was that sales rose 2.4% to $14.5 billion as the company opened more locations. The flip side of that coin was that same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, dropped 5.3%.

Wall Street was expecting Lowe’s to post a profit of $0.56 a share on sales of $14.1 billion for the quarter. The company expects 3Q profits of $0.27- $0.31 a share with same-store sales expected to drop around 6%. The silver-lining was that Lowe’s said full-year earnings would come in around $1.48-$1.56 a share which was higher than the company’s earlier projection of $1.55.

I didn’t expect much from Lowe’s today and I didn’t think the stock would make any significant move to the upside anyway. I also didn’t think the stock would sell-off either. Lowe’s pretty much said and did what every other company has done so far. They beat lowered earnings and gave a cautious outlook.

If I had to pick between Lowe’s and Home Depot (HD, $26.96, down $0.57), I’d would probably go with Home Depot. In fact, look for a deep-in-the-money long call trade for Home Depot in the next few days.

Rick Rouse
Rick@OptionsMentoring.com