Lowe's misses on earnings and revenue; stock sinks

Lowe's misses Street, warns on sales outlook

Shares of Lowe's fell 3 percent in intraday trade Wednesday after the home improvement retailer reported quarterly earnings and revenue that missed analysts' expectations.

It also lowered its earnings guidance for the fiscal year.

The company posted fiscal third-quarter earnings of 88 cents a share on revenue of $15.73 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 96 cents a share on revenue of $15.85 billion, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

"Our third quarter operating results were below our expectations due to slower sales in the first two months of the quarter," CEO Robert Niblock said in a statement. "While we expected moderation in the second half of the year, traffic slowed more than we anticipated in August and September before improving in October, which put pressure on our profitability in the quarter."

Lowe's said sales and comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 9.6 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, from last year.

The company also repurchased $550 million in stock under its share- repurchase program and paid $309 million in dividends in the quarter.

Lowe's said it expects total sales for the full year to increase 9 percent to 10 percent and comparable-store sales to increase 3 percent to 4 percent. It also expects to add about 40 home improvement and hardware stores.

Lowe's expects diluted earnings per share of approximately $3.56 for the fiscal year ending Feb. 3, 2017. Lowe's previously expected earnings of about $4.06 a share.

UBS Retail Analyst Michael Lasser told CNBC on Wednesday Lowe's big stock sink could be because investors are comparing its earnings to Home Depot instead of the broader retail industry.

"What's going wrong is that they're not drawing in as many customers as their competitor," Lasser said on "Power Lunch." "The market is comparing Lowe's versus Home Depot."

On Tuesday, rival Home Depot reported strong sales and earnings. CEO Craig Menear said the company experienced "balanced sales growth" helped by more in-store purchases and the amount each shopper spent.

Home improvement companies Sherwin-Williams, Whirlpool and Masco on the other hand had disappointing earnings reports.