Weather Clouds Lowe's Companies Earnings


Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) reported first-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The home improvement retailer posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.49 and $13.1 billion in revenues. In the same period a year ago, the home improvement retailer reported EPS of $0.43 on revenue of $13.2 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.51 and $13.46 billion in revenue.

Lowe's also revised guidance for the full year. The company now expects revenues to rise by 4% year-over-year, which is 0.5% higher than the company's estimate at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. That implies revenues of around $52.54 billion for the year, compared with a consensus estimate of $52.38 billion. EPS guidance was reaffirmed at $2.05, below the consensus estimate of $2.08.

The company's CEO said:

Cooler than normal temperatures and greater precipitation resulted in a delayed spring selling season which impacted our results in exterior categories. 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.

Competitor Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) reported results yesterday, and the company posted a new 52-week high based both on its results and its improved forecast. Lowe's is not likely to follow suit today.

Lowe's same-store sales in the first quarter fell 0.7%, but the company improved its gross margins from 34.7% a year ago to 34.8% this year.

Shares are down about 2.5% in premarket trading, at $41.40 in a 52-week range of $24.76 to $43.55. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $41.60 before today's results were announced.

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