Tags: Lowes | Warm | Winter | sales

Warm Winter Helps Push Lowe's Profit, Sales Higher

Monday, 27 Feb 2012 08:36 AM

Lowe's Cos., the world's second-largest home improvement chain, reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales as a warm winter prompted many homeowners to take up renovation projects that they normally save for the spring.

The results echoed those from larger rival Home Depot Inc., which also reported stellar sales due to strong demand for everything from paint to concrete in the unseasonably warm quarter.

Monday's results boosted Lowe's shares 2.7 percent to $27.90 and excited some industry watchers over the prospects of the home-improvement segment once the housing market recovers.

"We encourage investors to look past the near term and think about double-digit margins for all when housing recovers," said Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter, who has an "outperform" rating on both chains.

Lowe's is also benefiting from a host of initiatives to win shoppers, including a recent move to shift away from promotions to more every-day low prices.

The retailer has also started offering more localized products, improved its website and tried to enhance the in-store experience by using better signage and technology in stores.

"This also shows a company making progress in its transition," said Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser, who has a "buy" rating on the stock.

The company's sales rose 11 percent to $11.63 billion in the fourth quarter that ended on Feb. 3, well ahead of the analysts' average estimate of $11.34 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 3.4 percent.

Net income rose to $322 million, or 26 cents a share, from $285 million, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the profit was 24 cents a share, in line with the analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the current fiscal year, Lowe's forecast earnings of $1.75 to $1.85 a share.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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2012-36-27
Monday, 27 Feb 2012 08:36 AM
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