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Lowe's Profit Down On Housing Slump, Cuts Annual Forecast

Lowe's
Ben Margot
Lowe's

Retailer Lowe's Cos. reported a lower-than-expected first-quarter profit on Monday as the slower U.S. housing market pressured sales and cut its full-year earnings forecast.

Earnings came to $739 million, or 48 cents a share, for the first quarter that ended May 4, down 12 percent from $841 million, or 53 cents share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected 49 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Total sales rose 2 percent to $12.2 billion, helped by 15 store openings, but shy of the $12.5 billion expected by analysts. Sales at stores open at least a year, an important retail measure, fell 6.3 percent.

In a statement, Lowe's said a difficult U.S. housing market, tough comparisons to hurricane rebuilding efforts and falling lumber prices pressured results. It also said cold and wet weather in April contributed to lower-than-planned sales.

Last week, industry leader Home Depot Inc. posted a 30 percent decline in first-quarter profit as its retail store sales fell 4.3 percent.

Lowe's forecast full-year profit of $1.99 to $2.03 a share, down from the $2.02 to $2.09 a share it said it expected in February. Full-year sales are now expected to rise about 7 percent, down from a 10 percent increase previously forecast.

For the second quarter, the company expects earnings of 62 cents to 64 cents a share.

Analysts currently expect profit of 60 cents a share for the second quarter and $2.01 a share for the year, according to Reuters Estimates.

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