Financial ratios are "just a convenient way to summarize large quantities of financial data and to compare firms' performance" (Brealey & Myer & Marcus, 2003, p. 450). Financial ratios are very useful tools in order to determine the health of a company, help managers to make decision, and help to compare companies that belong to the same industry in order to know about their performance.
Home Depot and Lowe's are two home improvement chains in the United States. Home Depot is the leading company in this industry followed by Lowe's as the second largest. This paper uses financial ratios to compare these companies regarding operating profitability, asset utilization, and risk management in the years 2005 and 2006. The evaluation compares the performances of these stores against the industry. Operating Profitability
Home Depot closed the fiscal year of 2006 reporting that its sales were $90.8 billion, which was a 10% increase from fiscal year 2005. The Home Depot's operating profit was $27,427 million for 2005 and $29,907 million for 2006 (MarketWatch, 2007). Lowe's closed the fiscal year of 2006 reporting sales of $46.9 billion, an 8.5% increase compared to fiscal year 2005. Lowe's gross operating profit was $16,273.00 million for 2005 and $12,307.00 million for 2006 (MarketWatch, 2007). Both companies increase sales from the previous year. Home Depot had greater sales and higher operating profit than Lowe's. Profitability Ratios
Profitability ratios determine the companies' earnings. The Net Profit Margin is calculated by dividing net income by sales. Home Depot's portion of revenue from profits equaled 7.2% in 2005 and 6.3% in 2006. Lowe's portion of revenue from profits equaled 6.4% in 2005 and 6.6% in 2006. Home Depot had a decreased in profit margin while Lowe's increased its profit margin in 2006. Home Depot's Net Profit Margin for 2005 =
Home Depot's Net Profit Margin for 2006 =