The world's second-largest home improvement retailer reported net earnings of $404 million for the quarter ended Oct. 29, or 29 cents per share, up from $344 million or 23 cents per share in the third quarter of 2009. Excluding items, Lowe's earned 31 cents per share.
Sales for the quarter increased 1.9% to $11.6 billion from $11.4 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts had expected revenue of $11.75 billion. Comparable store sales for the third quarter increased 0.2%.
Looking ahead, Lowe's expects to open approximately 17 stores in the fourth quarter, reflecting square footage growth of approximately 2%, after opening 10 stores in the third. Lowe's further expects total sales to increase 2% to 4%; comparable sales to increase 0% to 2%; and earnings per share to be in the range of 16 cents to 19 cents. Analysts expect 18 cents per share.
For the fiscal year, Lowe's plans to open approximately 42 stores, reflecting total square footage growth of approximately 2%. It expects total sales to increase 3% to 4%; comparable sales to increase 1% to 2%; and earnings to come in a range of $1.37 to $1.40 per share. Analysts expected $1.41 per share.