Lowe’s Grows In Q1 But Earnings Below Estimates

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. today posted net earnings of $673 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, versus $624 million, or 61 cents per diluted share, in last year’s period. Comparable sales in the quarter increased 5.2% year over year.

An analyst average estimate from Zacks Investment Research called for diluted earnings per share of 74 cents.

Sales advanced 5.4% to $14.13 billion from the quarter a year ago.

In a conference call, Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO, said that the comp gain resulted from a 2.9% increase in average ticket and a 2.2% increase in transactions. Western regions and Florida had the strongest sales growth, he said, although comps were strong across the country and across product categories.

According to the company, home appliances and seasonal living products were particularly strong in the first quarter while home fashions were among those segments that suffered below average sales.

“I am pleased that we executed well and delivered another strong quarter,” Niblock said in announcing the financial results. “We generated comparable sales growth in all regions of the country and across all product categories, driving strong earnings per share growth.”