Home improvement store chain Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) reported results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 this morning, with the company saying that weather "dampened" traffic and hurt sales of outdoor products, but that indoor products remained solid. Lowe's stock was down less than one-half a percent as of 10:20 a.m.
Net sales rose 2.4% year-over-year, stopping at $13.4 billion. GAAP earnings increased 25% to $0.61 per diluted share. Analysts had expected slightly lower earnings on higher sales.
The company raised its full-year earnings outlook from $2.60 to $2.63 per share, reflecting a one-time settlement of disputed tax payments and a $0.01-per-share charge related to asset impairments in the first quarter. Revenue guidance remains steady at a 5% pace of annual growth.
Lowe's opened four net new stores in the quarter, bringing the network up to 1,836 stores.
In a prepared statement, Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock said that his company executed well in the first quarter despite weather-related challenges.
"While poor weather dampened traffic and negatively affected performance of exterior categories, results for indoor categories were solid," Niblock said. "We effectively aligned inventory, staffing and marketing resources by climatic zone to best serve customers' needs."
Now that the cold spell is in the past, Niblock sees brighter days ahead. "Performance has improved in May which, together with our strengthening execution, gives us the confidence to reaffirm our sales and operating profit outlook for the year," he said.