THE NEWS: Lowe's Cos. said Monday its fourth-quarter net income climbed 13 percent as mild winter weather spurred homeowners to complete more home-improvement projects.
THE CONTEXT: Last week, Lowe's bigger rival Home Depot also said a mild winter boosted results. The earnings results point to a gradually improving housing sector.
WHAT'S NEXT: Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's predicts fiscal 2012 earnings of $1.75 to $1.85 per share. Revenue is expected to rise 1 percent to 2 percent, which implies $50.69 billion to $51.2 billion.