Lowe's sees slower growth, will focus on urban stores and DIY market

Lowe's Cos. Inc. (LOW) is making changes to reach out to penny-pinching DIYers, urban homeowners and international markets. To ride out the housing downturn that's taken a bite out of its business, the home improvement company is adding services, opening more stores in urban markets and looking for growth overseas.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Hull laid out these change in a meeting today with investors, during which he reaffirmed Lowe's guidance. The company still expects a flat home improvement market next year and and growth of one percent in comparable-store sales in 2010. It's projecting total sales up three percent to four percent, to $48 billion to $49 billion, thanks to the new stores. Lowe's also forecasts that earnings will grow six percent to 14 percent, to between $1.24 and $1.34 per share, thanks to cost-cutting measures.