Finance for the Nonfinancial Manager essay paper

Finance for the Nonfinancial Manager


Home Depot and Lowes are two of the largest home improvement store chains in the United States. Both companies were founded in the 1970s, and they have since grown to become leading retailers in the home improvement industry. The industry itself is sizable, with an estimated worth of over 600 billion dollars in the United States alone. Home Depot and Lowes hold a significant share of this market, with each company boasting over 2 billion dollars in annual revenue. Despite their size, both companies have faced challenges in recent years. The rise of online shopping has led to a decline in brick-and-mortar sales, and this has hitting home improvement stores particularly hard. In response, Home Depot and Lowes have worked to improve their online presence and offer more competitive prices. At the same time, the housing market has begun to slow down, which has also had an impact on sales. Despite these challenges, Home Depot and Lowes remain the two largest players in the home improvement industry, and they are well positioned to weather the current storm.

Against a backdrop of rising interest rates, high inflation, and economic recession, Home Depot and Lowes could continue to face market pressures for the foreseeable future. For example, if interest rates rise, this could make it more difficult for people to afford a home, which would in turn lead to fewer people buying homes and improvements. In addition, a recession could lead to job losses, which would again reduce the number of people who are able to afford a home or who would have the disposable income to make improvements. However, it is worth noting that both companies have been through recessions before and have still managed to be successful. In fact, during the last recession, Home Depot’s sales actually increased. This shows that even in tough economic times, people still need supplies for their homes and are willing to spend money on improvements. As a result, while rising interest rates and a potential recession could have an impact on Home Depot and Lowes, it is unlikely to be enough to seriously hurt their business.

Current and Debt Ratios

The current ratio and debt ratios are two important financial tools that can be used to assess a companys financial health. The current ratio measures a companys ability to pay its short-term liabilities with its current assets, while the debt ratio measures the percentage of a companys assets that are financed by debt. Looking at the current ratios for Home Depot and Lowes (1.012616318 vs. 1.019930852, respectively), we can see that both companies are in good shape in terms of their ability to pay their short-term debts. However, when we look at the debt ratios (0.0599922088 vs. 0.03246276711, respectively), we can see that Lowes is in a slightly better position than Home Depot in terms of its overall financial health. This is because a lower percentage of Lowess assets are financed by debt, which means that the company is less leveraged and therefore less likely to experience financial difficulties in the event of an economic downturn.

While both ratios provide valuable information, it is important to consider other factors before making an analysis. For example, a company with a high current ratio may be hoarding cash, while a company with a high debt ratio may be taking on too much risk. As such, it is important to consider all available information before making any conclusions about a company’s financial health. Thus, more information is needed on Home Depot and Lowes before one can arrive at any reasonable conclusion about either companys financial health (Greninger et al., 1996).

Profitability and Operating Performance Ratios

Looking at the profitability ratios for Home Depot and Lowes, we can see that Home Depot has been consistently more profitable than Lowes over the past three years. For example, in 2020 Home Depot had a return on assets of 0.2194160356, while Lowes had a return on assets of 0.1041229568. This trend is also evident when we look at the companies’ return on equity ratios. In 2020, Home Depot’s return on equity was 3.607830552, while Lowes’ was 2.164300203. In 2022, Home Depots return on equity was even better, at 9.689268868, compared to Lowes at just, 1.746054817. This indicates that Home Depot has been able to generate more profit from its shareholders’ investment than Lowes. Moreover, the overall trend for Home Depot is upwards over the past three years, on return on equity, while for Lowes the trend is unclear: 2021 was up from 2020, but 2022 was down from 2021 and below 2020 levels. Both, however, show an upward trend in return on assets over the three years.

Additionally, the fixed asset turnover ratios for Home Depot and Lowes over the past three years show that Home Depot has been more profitable than Lowes. In 2020, Home Depot’s ratio was 43.05, while Lowes’ ratio was 54.29. This means that for every dollar of fixed assets that Home Depot had, it generated 43 cents of income, while for every dollar of fixed assets that Lowes had, it generated 54 cents of income. In 2021, Home Depot’s ratio improved to 51.39, while Lowes’ ratio declined slightly to 54.71. Finally, in 2022, Home Depot’s ratio increased again to 60.11, while Lowes’ ratio remained relatively flat at 52.82. Thus, over the three-year period, Home Depot has consistently been more profitable than Lowes, with its profitability increasing over time while Lowes’ profitability has remained relatively flat.

Based on these ratios, though, we can conclude that Home Depot is a more profitable company than Lowes and that it has outperformed Lowes in both profitability and operating performance over the past three years (Burkhardt & Wheeler, 2013).

Cash Flow and Investment Valuation

Cash flow indicator ratio is comparable to the Dividend payout ratio, while Investment valuation ratio is comparable to the Price / Earnings ratio (Kallapur, 1994). The cash flow indicator ratio and the investment valuation ratio are two important measures used by investors to assess the financial health of a company. The cash flow indicator ratio measures the amount of cash flow that a company generates relative to its dividend payments. The investment valuation ratio, like the price / earnings ratio, measures the current market price of a company’s shares relative to its earnings per share. Both ratios provide valuable information to investors, but they are not equivalent. The cash flow indicator ratio is a more accurate measure of a company’s ability to generate cash flow, while the investment valuation ratio is a more accurate measure of a company’s share price.

Based on the dividend payout ratio, it appears that Home Depot is in a stronger position, with a ratio of 0.4250593318 compared to 0.2359376858 for Lowes. This indicates that Home Depot is better able to pay out dividends to its shareholders. Looking at the P/E ratio, we see that Home Depot’s ratio of 17.8 is slightly higher than Lowes’ ratio of 15.71. This suggests that Home Depot’s stock is more expensive than Lowes’, but may also reflect higher investor confidence in the company’s future performance. Overall, based on these two indicators, it seems likely that Home Depot would have more satisfied stockholders than Lowes, and it appears that Home Depot is doing the better job in terms of P/E and cash flow.

Better Investment

As an investor, I would choose to invest in Home Depot over Lowes. There are a few key reasons for this decision. First, Home Depot has a higher dividend payout ratio than Lowes, indicating that it is more generous in terms of returning profits to shareholders. There are a number of factors that can be considered when evaluating the dividend payout ratios of companies, including profitability, cash flow, and debt levels. In general, a higher payout ratio indicates that a company is more generous in terms of returning profits to shareholders. Based on this metric, Home Depot appears to be more gnerous than Lowes in terms of dividend payouts. Home Depot’s dividend payout ratio is higher than Lowes, indicating that it returns a greater portion of its profits to shareholders. This may be due to a number of factors, including Home Depot’s higher level of profitability and stronger cash flow relative to Lowes. As a result, Home Depot shareholders may enjoy a higher level of return relative to their Lowes counterparts.

Second, Home Depot also has a higher P/E ratio, suggesting that it is more expensive but also more likely to generate higher returns. PE ratios are one way to compare the relative value of stocks in different companies. The PE ratio is calculated by dividing the stock price by the earnings per share. A higher PE ratio suggests that a company’s stock is more expensive, but it also suggests that the company is more likely to generate higher returns. In general, a company with a higher PE ratio will have higher expected future earnings growth. Home Depot has a higher P/E ratio than Lowe’s, suggesting that it is more expensive but also more likely to generate higher returns. Home Depot is also expected to have higher future earnings growth. Thus, the higher P/E ratio may be justified by the company’s strong prospects for future growth.

Finally, while Home Depot has a higher level of current liabilities, this is offset by its stronger overall financial position. Home Depot’s current liabilities are greater than Lowe’s, but this is offset by several factors. Home Depot has a higher level of total assets, which provides a cushion in the event that its liabilities come due. In addition, Home Depot’s profitability is higher, meaning that it is generating more cash flow to cover its obligations. Finally, Home Depot has a lower debt-to-equity ratio, indicating that its borrowings are less of a burden. As a result, Home Depot’s overall financial position is stronger than Lowe’s, making it better able to weather any short-term challenges.

Overall, I believe that Home Depot is a more attractive investment option than Lowes. Based on the discussion of financial data above, Home Depot is doing a better job of satisfying shareholders and using leverage to its advantage.

Using Non-Financial Criteria

When choosing between two investment options, there are a number of non-financial criteria that should be considered (Large & Muegge, 2008). First, it is important to assess the level of risk associated with each option. For example, investment A may offer a higher return but also carry a greater risk of loss. Second, it is important to consider the time horizon of the investment. Short-term investments typically offer lower returns but are also less risky than long-term investments. Finally, it is also important to consider the liquidity of the investment. Some investments, such as real estate, can be difficult to sell quickly if needed. Ultimately, the decision of which investment to choose will depend on a number of factors, including the investor’s risk tolerance and financial goals.

Additionally, the manpower required to run each option should be taken into account. If one option requires a large amount of specialized labor that is difficult to find, it may not be the best choice. Another consideration is the regulatory environment in which each option operates. If one option is subject to more stringent regulations than the other, it may be less risky but also have lower potential returns. Additionally, supply chains should be evaluated to ensure that they are able to meet demand. Finally, it is always important to consider the possibility of a recession; even if an investment has performed well in the past, it may not be able to withstand an economic downturn.

When it comes to Home Depot and Lowes, both are large home improvement retailers with a presence in all 50 states. However, Home Depot is slightly larger than Lowes, with 2,284 stores compared to Lowes’ 1,725 stores. Additionally, Home Depot has a wider range of products available online than Lowes. Lastly, Home Depot also has a store credit card which offers customers 5% off purchases, while Lowes does not have a store credit card. This would likely be appealing to shoppers during a recession. When taking all of these factors into consideration, it seems that Home Depot may be the better investment option at this time.


There are a few key factors that make Home Depot a better investment opportunity than Lowes. First, Home Depot has been consistently profitable for the last decade while Lowes has had several years of losses. This shows that Home Depot is a more stable company that is better able to weather economic downturns. Second, Home Depot has a higher return on equity, meaning that it generates more profits from its shareholders’ investment. Finally, Home Depot’s stock price has outperformed Lowe’s stock price in the last five years, indicating that the market believes Home Depot is a better investment. Taken together, these factors make Home Depot a more attractive investment than Lowe’s.


Burkhardt, J. H., & Wheeler, J. R. (2013). Examining financial performance indicators

for acute care hospitals.Journal of health care finance,39(3), 1-13.

Greninger, S. A., Hampton, V. L., Kitt, K. A., & Achacoso, J. A. (1996). Ratios and

benchmarks for measuring the financial well-being of families and individuals.Financial Services Review,5(1), 57-70.

Kallapur, S. (1994). Dividend payout ratios as determinants of earnings response

coefficients: A test of the free cash flow theory.Journal of Accounting and economics,17(3), 359-375.

Large, D., & Muegge, S. (2008). Venture capitalists’ non-financial value-added: an

evaluation of the evidence and implications for research.Venture capital,10(1), 21-53.

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