Shares of home improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) - Get Lowe's Companies, Inc. Report took off on Wednesday after reporting second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecasts as the Home Depot (HD) - Get Home Depot, Inc. Report competitor continued to focus on luring home-improvement and renovation-focused customers through its doors.
Lowe's posted net income of $1.7 billion, or $2.14 a share, for its fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 2, vs. net income of $1.5 billion, or $1.86 a share, in the comparable year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings in the quarter were $2.15 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of $2.
Sales were $21 billion vs. $20.8 billion a year ago and above analysts' forecasts of $20.97 billion. Comparable same-store sales, a key metric among brick-and-mortar retailers, was 2.3%. Comparable-store sales for its U.S. home improvement business increased 3.2%.
Lowe's earnings follow on the heels of rival Home Depot, which on Tuesday reported earnings that beat analysts' forecasts though cautioned that declining prices for lumber as well as the impact of tariffs will affect its earnings through the remainder of the year.
"We capitalized on spring demand, strong holiday event execution and growth in Paint and our Pro business to deliver strong second quarter results," CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement. "Despite lumber deflation and difficult weather, we are pleased that we delivered positive comparable sales in all 15 geographic regions of the U.S."
For its fiscal third quarter, Lowe's said it now expects adjusted earnings per share of between $5.45 and $5.65, a few cents below analysts' current consensus forecasts of $5.68. Total sales are expected to increase approximately 2%, while comparable-store sales are expected to gain 3%.
Shares of Lowe's were up more than 10% in mid-morning trading to $108.38 on the New York Stock Exchange. Up to yesterday, Lowe's had risen about 4% year to date, trailing the 14% return for the S&P 500 and rival Home Depot's return of more than 20%.
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