MOORESVILLE, N.C. (
, the home-improvement retailer, said first-quarter earnings rose slightly from a year earlier topping the expectations of analysts as consumers have begun doing more discretionary home projects.
The retailer's earnings outlook for the second quarter and year, however, was shy of the view of analysts.
Lowe's said first-quarter net income was $489 million, up from $476 million last year. On a per-share basis, earnings were 34 cents vs. 32 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Lowe's to earn 31 cents a share.
Sales rose 4.7% to $12.4 billion; analysts forecast sales of $12.25 billion. Same-store sales rose 2.4%.
"Consumers are showing signs of reengagement in home improvement, including discretionary projects and purchases of bigger ticket products, which had taken a back seat during the worst of the economic downturn," said Robert Niblock, Lowe's chairman and CEO, in a statement Monday. "This, combined with the government stimulus programs and favorable weather in March and April, drove solid quarterly sales and earnings that exceeded our guidance.
"While we are optimistic we will experience solid demand through the balance of the year, we view 2010 as a year of transition for our industry," Niblock added.
Lowe's said second-quarter earnings are expected at 57 cents to 59 cents a share on a sales increase of 5% to 7%.
For the fiscal year, Lowe's sees profits of $1.37 to $1.47 a share.
Analysts expect second-quarter earnings of 62 cents a share and $1.45 for the fiscal year ending in January 2011.
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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