But Home Depot also faces rising expenses as it upgrades stores and hires more trade specialists in a bid to win back market share.
"I think Home Depot has learned from Lowe's that they need to focus on their stores," Cherukuri said. "That's what's going to get the stock up."
The average purchase fell 1.5 percent to $57.48 in the third quarter as the number of customer transactions eased 1.8 percent. Home Depot said it gained market share in paint, power tools and appliances but lost it in lighting.
Home Depot said earnings per share from continuing operations could drop as much as 11 percent for the fiscal year, compared with the 7 percent to 9 percent decline it had
forecast in September, as it expects the housing market softness to continue through the period.
The company said its outlook was based on a 52-week year but added that the period had 53 weeks. The extra week should add about 5 cents per share to earnings.
Home Depot, citing uncertainty in U.S. credit markets as well as the housing weakness, also said its recapitalization plan under which it plans to buy back $22.5 billion in stock would not be completed this year.
Under that plan, the company bought back about 290 million common shares for $10.7 billion earlier this year.
Home Depot's stock has fallen 29 percent this year, while Lowe's is down 20 percent. Both stocks reached 52-week lows last week.