Lowe's Reports Strong Earnings, Increases Guidance

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's Companies (NYSE: LOW  ) shares rose today (up more than 3.5% as of this writing) after the company reported fiscal Q2 financial results that handily beat analyst estimates for both sales and earnings.

Sales in the quarter spiked 10% in comparison to last year, reaching $15.7 billion. Profits per diluted share rose 38% to hit $0.88. The growth in earnings marked an acceleration in profits growth at Lowe's, where year-to-date, profits are up 27% year over year.

Analysts had expected Lowe's to earn $0.79 per share on $15.1 billion in revenue.

Lowe's results both mirrored and amplified a similar earnings beat at archrival Home Depot yesterday. Experiencing analogous sales growth of 10%, Home Depot grew its earnings 23% in Q2.

Commenting on its results, Lowe's CEO Robert A. Niblock observed that "Home improvement demand was strong during the quarter, and we capitalized on it with improving execution." Yesterday, Home Depot had credited "the recovering housing market" for its own earnings beat.

Lowe's raised its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts today. Lowe's now anticipates fiscal 2013 earnings of about $2.10 per share, with revenue up approximately 5%. The company previously predicted earnings of about $2.05 per share, with revenue up approximately 4%. Based on 2012's revenue of $50.52 billion, the new outlook implies about $53 billion in revenue.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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