What happened

Shares of Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE:LOW) were stacking higher last month after the home-improvement retailer delivered an impressive fourth-quarter earnings report. According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, the stock finished up 10.5%. 

The entrance to a Lowe's store

Image source: Lowe's.

As the chart below shows, the stock's gains came almost entirely at the beginning of the month following the earnings report.

LOW Chart

LOW data by YCharts.

So what 

Lowe's turned in stellar results on all counts. Comparable sales at the home-improvement retailer accelerated to 5.1%, its fastest pace in several quarters, and overall revenue increased 19.2% to $15.8 billion, which topped estimates at $15.4 billion. The jump in sales was largely attributable to its acquisition of Canadian home-improvement retailer RONA last year, which added nearly 500 stores to Lowe's portfolio.

On the bottom line, adjusted earnings per share surged 45.8% to $0.86 from $0.59 a year ago. CEO Robert Niblock credited the company's "omni-channel platform, customer experience design capabilities, and project expertise."

Now what 

Looking ahead, Niblock said 2017 presented a "favorable macroeconomic backdrop for home improvement," and the company's guidance confirmed that view, calling for an overall sales increase of 5% and comparable sales growth of 3.5%. Lowe's plans to open 35 new stores and calls for earnings per share of $4.64, up from $3.99 last year.

With an expanding economy and strong housing market, Lowe's stock looks primed to deliver in 2017 again, continuing its momentum from last quarter.

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