Lowe's Earnings Report Shows It's No Home Depot

Lowe's Earnings Report Shows It's No Home Depot

Lowe's Earnings Report Shows It's No Home Depot

Although the company conceded that it sacrificed some operating margin to build sales, Lowe's still recorded second quarter net earnings of $1.42 billion, or $1.68 per diluted share, versus $1.17 billion, or $1.31 per diluted share, in the period a year previous.

Mooresville-based Lowe's reported second-quarter profit Wednesday morning that again fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Revenue rose to $19.5 billion from $18.26 billion.

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As a result of the increased spending, Lowe's now expects its operating margin to rise 80 to 100 basis points in the year ending February 2, down from an earlier forecast for a 120-basis-point increase. The second quarter results included a $96 million gain from the sale of the company's interest in its Australian joint venture.

Adjusted Q2 diluted earnings per share jumped 14.6%, to $1.57, from the same period a year ago. Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.57 per share, missing analysts' average estimate of $1.61, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

There was a small beat on the same-store sales front though, which climbed 4.5% year-on-year, slightly better than the 4.3% estimates. For the six month period, sales increased 8.5 percent to $36.4 billion over the same period a year ago, and comparable sales increased 3.3 percent.

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"While our results were below our expectations in the first half of this year, the team remains focused on making the necessary investments to improve the customer experience and drive sales", CEO Robert Niblock said in an earnings statement.

Same-store sales grew 4.5%, just eclipsing the 4.3% improvement analysts were looking for. The home-improvement retailer had stronger comparables, Credit Suisse wrote, and sales even accelerated in July.

These investments include consumer messaging and "incremental customer-facing hours" in stores, he added.

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