1. What do the financial ratios in case Exhibit 7 tells you about the operating performance of Home Depot? What additional information do the different ratios provide? Complete and compare a similar analysis for Lowe’s using the Excel Template provided – Lowe’s Financial Ratios.

2. Who deserves the “management of the year” award in the retail-building-supply industry? Provide a detailed explanation including support for your position.

3. Assumptions drive the financial forecasting models like that of Home Depot in Exhibit 8. By putting the assumptions all at the top of the model, the analyst can also easily alter the assumptions and measure the impact. What do you think of Galeotafiore’s forecast for Home Depot? Are there any “red flags” in Galeotafiore’s work?

4. Prepare a forecast for Lowe’s using the Excel Template provided – Lowe’s forecast. Articulate and explain your choice of key assumptions within the memo. Draw upon the case dialogue about future growth opportunities and financial forecast for Lowes, as well as overall economic, demographic or sector/industry trends evidenced in the exhibits.