Here's the 300-word dissection of Home Depot's pending acquisition of Hughes Supply. It adds a layer of complexity across a bunch of product channels at a time when there's already plenty of pressure on margins. But this next step by HD is not a surprise to most. The issue was more when and where.
From an operational standpoint, HD has its work ahead to ratchet Hughes' operating margins up from about 5 percent currently. The Home Depot's current operating margins are at about 12 percent. But HD knows this wholesale distribution sector; its expectations are likely pretty grounded.
For those in industrial channels, there is a slight d'j' vu feeling back to some high profile M& A activity in 1998 and 1999, just before industrial markets crashed. With the help '