Trex (NYSE: TREX ) was one of last week's biggest winners, soaring 30% after posting encouraging quarterly results. Fellow home improvement specialist Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL ) delivered even stronger results, treating its shareholders to a 7% pop on the week.
This is a great time to help folks spruce up their homes. Trex is the leading player in wood-alternative decking, a popular choice for folks willing to pay a premium for weather-resistant decks that will hold up longer than wood without the maintenance hassle. Inside the home, Lumber Liquidators is the leading stand-alone retailer of hardwood flooring.
Trex may have grown sales by just 2% in its latest quarter, but its adjusted profit of $0.45 a share blew away the $0.35 a share that analysts were targeting. Lumber Liquidators is moving even faster, posting a 17% surge in sales that was accompanied by a 58% spike in earnings.
It's not just the rearview mirror that excited the market. Trex sees sales growth accelerating, eyeing 9% revenue growth in the current quarter. Things will pick up next year with new production facilities expanding sales by $40 million to $60 million. Lumber Liquidators also offered up a brighter future, raising its guidance for the year. The end result, naturally, is that analysts are jacking up their profit targets through next year.
Now it's not as if every player here is winning. Interface (NASDAQ: TILE ) -- the company behind the FLOR modular carpet tiles -- warned on Wednesday that growth will slow in the new quarter.
"Our outlook for the final three months of the year is somewhat moderated by a softening order book in the United States over the past two months," Interface noted in its earnings release.
Tile Shop Holdings (NASDAQ: TTS ) -- a retailer of natural stone tiles -- will provide another snapshot of the home improvement industry this week. The parent company of The Tile Shop reports on Wednesday after the market close. Analysts see a slight decline in earnings per share, but revenue is projected to soar 29%.
Despite Interface sending analyst estimates lower, the outlook for the industry in general is positive. Trex and Lumber Liquidators will continue to benefit from the improving real estate climate. As home prices continue to move higher, the incentive to improve properties makes more sense. Higher real estate prices also means that more homeowners who were previously underwater on their mortgages now have enough equity in their homes to begin jazzing up their digs without fearing the banks will take over.
Lumber Liquidators will continue to be the growth leader, but both Trex and Lumber Liquidators should continue to fare well in this positive environment -- as long as they don't start offering carpet tiles.
It's not just home improvement stocks making the most of the housing recovery
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