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The homebuilder reported first-quarter earnings on March 27 of $15 million, or 8 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $27.4 million, or 14 cents a share.

"We acknowledge the fundamental risks (distressed homes, Europe contagion, as well as near-term sentiment) as the perennial spring trade ends, but we think the cyclical upside off current low housing activity (600,000 in 2011 vs. around 700,000 total start run-rate right now) will support higher valuations until earnings arrive and lower the historically high P/E valuations at which the sector currently trades," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in an April 12 report.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.6%

Rated "C+ (Hold)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's first-quarter gross profit margin increased from the previous year.

In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 3.12% from the prior year.


The home-improvement retailer is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on May 21. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 40 cents a share on revenue of $12.84 billion.

"We are upgrading shares of LOW to Overweight following positive findings in our home improvement survey that lead us to believe a remodeling cycle is underway," Piper Jaffray analysts wrote in an April 16 report. "Full details of the survey are published in an industry note today. To summarize, we now believe the home improvement industry will grow at a faster rate than GDP for at least 2012 and 2013. We expect LOW could see meaningful upside to EPS estimates with the backdrop of favorable industry growth and potential for operational improvement over the coming years."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.7%

Rated "A (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as it was the previous year.

Lowe's has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.16, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 8.71% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $36.38.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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