Home improvement retailer Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) reported mixed earnings earlier this week -- while sales were up, earnings per share missed estimates. That said, consumer goods analyst Michael Finarelli still liked the numbers Lowe's reported, especially comps (up 6.2%) and net earnings (growing 26%). Meanwhile, fellow analyst Sean O'Reilly liked what Home Depot (NYSE:HD) had to say, including EPS of $0.95 beating estimates, thanks to consumers who were more willing than ever to trade up.

That said, Sean acknowledges that Lowe's barely missed estimates, and that going forward the housing market's continued improvement will help both Lowe's and Home Depot. But which one looks like a better investment next quarter? Mike thinks that investors shouldn't worry about the short term, and that in the long term both look pretty good.

Mark Reeth has no position in any stocks mentioned. Michael Finarelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. Sean O'Reilly has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.