Lowes tops estimates as customers invest more in bigger home projects, retailer lifts sales forecast – CNBC

A customer pushes a shopping cart towards the entrance of a Lowe’s store in Concord, California, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Lowe’s beat analysts’ expectations for fiscal third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, as the company got a bump in business from home professionals and online sales.

The home improvement retailer raised its forecast, saying it anticipates $95 billion in sales. It had previously predicted revenue of $92 billion.

Shares rose about 2% in premarket trading.

Here’s what the company reported for the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 29 compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $2.73 vs. $2.36 expected
  • Revenue: $22.92 billion vs. $22.06 billion expected

Lowe’s profits rose to $1.90 billion, or $2.73 per share, from $692 million, or 91 cents a share, a year earlierThe results outmatched the $2.36 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Net sales climbed to $22.92 billion from $22.31 billion last year and were higher than analysts’ expectations of $22.06 billion.

Lowe’s same-store sales grew by 2.2% in the three-month period. That was a sharp difference from analysts’ prediction of a 1.5% decline, according to StreetAccount.

A strong housing market has lifted sales for Lowe’s and its rival, Home Depot. Even as prices rise on houses and construction materials, Americans have continued to buy. Homebuilder confidence surged this week, due to the big appetite for new single-family homes.

The retailers also saw customers shop for paint, throw pillows and more as they spent more time at home and tackled do-it-yourself projects during the pandemic.

As consumers get out and about again, Lowe’s and Home Depot are increasingly trying to woo the home professionals that homeowners hire to tackle renovations or redo their kitchens.

Home Depot’s third-quarter earnings reflected that shift, as customer transactions dropped but average tickets rose by 12.9% to $82.38. The retailer said momentum has continued into the fourth quarter, with sales starting slightly higher than third-quarter levels.

Under CEO Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s has stepped up efforts to attract pros, since they are steadier and bigger spenders. Ellison said in a press release that the company’s sales to pros rose 16% in the third quarter. He said sales on its website jumped by 25%.

Lowe’s also said it plans to buy back $3 billion in shares in the fourth quarter, bringing total repurchases for the year to $12 billion. It bought back 13.7 million of its own stock for $2.9 billion during the latest quarter.

Read the company’s press release here.

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