Lowe's Earnings Top Estimates, but Outlook Falls Short

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Helped by rebuilding efforts after super storm Sandy, Lowe's reported earnings and revenue that outpaced analysts' expectations on Monday.

The results prompted the world's second largest home improvement chain to forecast higher revenue in the current fiscal year. Lowe's said it expected total sales to rise about four percent from $50.52 billion in year ended on Feb. 1.

The company also forecast a 3.5 percent increase in fiscal-year sales at stores open at least a year.

Still, the company's shares were little changed in pre-market action, as the company's outlook disappointed investors. (Click here to get the latest quotes for Lowe's.)

The home-improvement retailer said fourth-quarter earnings excluding items were 26 cents per share, down from 29 cents a share in the year-earlier period, when the company had an extra week of revenue.

Revenue in the latest period fell 5 percent to $11 billion from $11.63 billion a year ago.

Wall Street had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 23 cents a share on $10.84 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Same-store sales rose 1.9 percent in the latest quarter.

For fiscal 2013, Lowe's expects to earn $2.05 a share, however, analysts were estimating the retailer would earn $2.10 a share.

Lowe's, which has lagged behind larger rival Home Depot, is in the middle of a makeover. It has closed locations, curbed openings, cut jobs, streamlined its supply chain and invested in its stores and its online business.

Home Depot plans to report its results on Tuesday.

Lowe's has armed its store workers with Apple iPhones to help shoppers research products, check rivals' prices and make purchases. It has also given iPads to store managers so they can spend more time on the sales floor.

Lowe's has also started offering everyday low prices and products targeted to specific geographic markets.

--Reuters contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said Lowe's earnings missed expectations, in fact they beat by 3 cents.