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reiterated its earnings guidance for fiscal 2008, and said it expects sales to rise in fiscal 2009.

In comments prepared for the company's annual conference with analysts and investors Wednesday, the home improvement retailer said it expects to open about 120 stores in 2008, with total sales rising by about 1%. The company forecasts same-store sales to decline 6% to 7%.

The company said it still expects earnings of $1.48 to $1.56 a share in fiscal 2008. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimate Lowe's to earn $1.53 a share.

For fiscal 2009, Lowe's said it expects to open 75 to 85 new stores, while same-store sales estimates from the company range from a decrease of 3% to an increase of 1%. Total sales are expected to increase 2.5% to 6.5%. The company expects fiscal 2009 earnings of $1.40 to $1.65 a share.

In a statement, Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock said he expects the company to "more than double" its expected 2008 per-share earnings over the next five years.