Lowe's Earnings Rise 39%, Top Estimates

Lowe's Cos.' (LOW)fourth-quarter profit rose 39 percent as homeowners took on more renovation projects as the economy slowly recovers.

The results announced Wednesday beat Wall Street estimates, but its earnings forecast for the first quarter suggested its results could come in below current forecasts.

"While uncertainty in the market remains, the economic recovery is continuing," said CEO Robert Niblock.

Home-improvement retailers are seeing signs of life from shoppers as the housing industry slowly improves and the consumers slowly start to spend normally again after a slowdown during the recession.

The No. 2 home-improvement retailer said its net income rose to $285 million, or 21 cents per share, for the three months ended Jan. 28 from $205 million, or 14 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected 18 cents per share.

The Mooresville, N.C., company said revenue rose 3 percent to $10.48 billion from $10.17 billion. Analysts expected $10.44 billion.

For the year, Lowe's net income rose 13 percent to $2.01 billion, or $1.42 per share, from $1.78 billion, or $1.21 per share a year ago.

Annual revenue rose 3 percent to $48.82 billion from $47.22 billion.

Lowe's expects first-quarter net income of 34 cents to 38 cents per share while analysts expect net income of 38 cents per share. The company predicts revenue will rise 2 percent and revenue in stores open at least one year will be flat.

For the year, the company expects net income of $1.60 to $1.72 per share on a 5 percent revenue increase. Revenue in stores open at least one year is expected to rise 5 percent. Analysts expect $1.94 per share.

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I wonder how the fact that Lowes has closed a LOT of locations plays into this? Sounds like home improvement shuck and jive to me. Whoever invests in traditional retail needs to have their heads examined.

February 23 2011 at 10:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply