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Lowe's Cos.  (LOW - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Wednesday but noted weakness in Canada's housing market would continue over the near term.

Lowe's said earnings for the three months ending in January, the company's fiscal fourth quarter, came in at 80 cents per share, up 8.1% from last year and one penny ahead of the consensus forecast. Group revenues, Lowe's said, edged 0.68% from the same period last year to $15.6 billion and narrowly missed analysts' estimates of $15.75 billion. Same-store stales in the United States rose 1.7%, Lowe's said, missing the Refinitv forecast of around 2%.

Lowe's also reiterated its 2019 outlook, which sees full year sales rising 2%, adding that "U.S. macroeconomic fundamentals remain sound" while cautioning that its Canadian business would face "continued weakness in the housing market".

"Overall, we are pleased with the progress we are making in our business," said CEO Marvin Ellison. "Most of the intense work over the past six months to transform our company has been in preparation for an improved spring season and fiscal 2019."

"Therefore, we are encouraged by an improved comparable sales progression through the fourth quarter, culminating in U.S. home improvement comp growth of 5.8% in January," he added. "Although we have remaining work to do, we are pleased with the results we are seeing in early spring categories, which is evidence that we are focused on the right actions at this stage of our transformation."

Lowe's shares rose 1.3% to $106.38 on Wednesday.

Home Depot posted weaker-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Tuesday thanks in part to a $247 million charge linked to Interline brands division while forecast slower 2019 profit growth.

Looking into 2019, Home Depot said it sees comparable sales growth of around 5%, following a fourth quarter rate of around 3.2% and a U.S. pace of 3.7%. It also sees full-year 2019 earnings to grow just 3.1% to $10.03 per share, well shy of the $10.26 Refinitiv forecast, and overall revenues to grow 3.3%, down from the 7.2% gain over the 2018 fiscal year that suggests a total of $111.77 billion.

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