Sales were down 2.3% on the first three months of the previous year, and earnings per share down 5%. Management is forecasting a stable 2024, with sales similar to last year's and an operating margin in line with the average.

One might have feared less good news in the face of a real estate market in dire straits in the United States, with inventories of existing homes - which account for the vast majority of buy-to-let transactions - at ten-year lows.

Naturally, potential sellers who have managed to secure rock-bottom rates in recent years are unlikely to give up these preferential terms. As for potential buyers, they are paralyzed by rising interest rates and prices that are not falling.

Often perceived as a direct proxy on the real estate market, Home Depot could therefore have borne the brunt of this economic climate.

Like Brenntag - albeit in a completely different vein - the group's results tend to indicate a normalization of business rather than a major upset. Home Depot enjoyed a period of exceptional prosperity during the pandemic, which could not last forever, and which it would have been dangerous to extrapolate.

Moreover, the Group confirmed its new strategic direction with the acquisition earlier this year of building materials distributor SRS for the princely sum of $18 billion. It is thus continuing its push into the construction professionals market, which already accounts for half of its customer base.

This may explain why Home Depot is currently weathering the economic storm better than its direct competitor Lowe's. Investors are maintaining their vote of confidence; the stock is trading at a valuation of x22-x23 earnings, right on its ten-year average.