Lowe's Earnings Fall Short of Estimates; Shares Slide

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Lowe's reported quarterly earnings and revenue that missed analysts' expectations on Wednesday, with the company blaming softer sales on unseasonably cool, rainy weather.

Spring is the biggest season for home improvement retailers. While the weather was chilly in the quarter, the improving housing market has helped such businesses.

The company's shares fell in pre-market trading after the announcement. (Click here to track the company's shares.)

The retailer posted first-quarter earnings excluding items of 49 cents a share, up from 44 cents a share a year ago.

Revenue came in at $13.1 billion, little changed from $13.15 billion in the year-earlier period.

Analysts had expected the retailer to report earnings excluding items of 51 cents a share on $13.45 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

"Cooler-than-normal temperatures and greater precipitation resulted in a delayed spring selling season, which impacted our results in exterior categories," Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement. "While overall performance in the month of March was particularly soft, April improved significantly and we have maintained that positive momentum through the first few weeks of May."

Lowe's maintained its fiscal 2013 forecasts. The company said it now expects full-year same-store sales to increase by 3.5 percent, and plans to open 10 new stores this year.

The chain's quarterly report comes one day after Home Depot's first-quarter results topped Wall Street's view and it raised its full-year outlook. The world's largest home improvement chain said it benefited from a nascent recovery in the U.S. housing market.

(Read More: Home Depot Reaps Housing Recovery's Effects)

Associated Press contributed to this article.