Lowe's 1Q falls flat as extended winter cuts into sales

AP News
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Posted: May 23, 2018 7:18 AM
Lowe's 1Q falls flat as extended winter cuts into sales

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Lowe's, which named a new CEO this week, is reporting weak profit and revenue numbers for its first quarter in which harsh winter weather cut into the traditional spring sales season.

The Mooresville, North Carolina, company earned $988 million, or $1.19 per share, for the three months ended May 4. A year earlier the home improvement retailer earned $602 million, or 70 cents per share.

That's 3 cents shy of Wall Street expectations, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose to $17.36 billion from $16.86 billion, but also missed the mark.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer's health, edged up 0.6 percent. In the U.S., the figure climbed 0.5 percent.

Chairman and CEO Robert Niblock cited the harsh weather, echoing the travails of rival Home Depot, which recently reported a slow start to the year.

Niblock, who previously announced plans to retire, will be succeeded in the CEO post by J.C. Penney Co. CEO Marvin Ellison. Ellison, who is also a former Home Depot Inc. executive, will take over as Lowe's CEO in early July.

Lowe's is looking for ways to compete with Home Depot Inc., which has been better able to capitalize on the solid housing market.

For fiscal 2018, Lowe's now anticipates revenue will increase about 5 percent. Its prior guidance was for a 4 percent rise. It still expects full-year earnings to be $5.40 to $5.50 per share.

Shares of Lowe's Cos., which have fallen 8 percent this year, are down more than 3 percent before the opening bell Wednesday.

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Portions of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on LOW at https://www.zacks.com/ap/LOW