Thomson ReutersA Lowe’s home improvement store is seen in Alexandria, Virginia(Reuters) – Lowe’s Cos Inc , the world’s No.2 home improvement chain by market share, reported a better-than-expected rise in sales, as unseasonably warm weather in the holiday quarter and a steady improvement in the U.S. housing market encouraged customers to continue outdoor activities and home renovations.
The company, like bigger rival Home Depot Inc
, is benefiting from a pent-up demand for houses after the 2008 financial recession, while low interest rates and growth in jobs, wage and credit have spurred spending on renovations.
Lowe’s sales at established stores rose 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter ended Jan 29. Analysts on average had expected an increase of 3.6 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.
Net sales rose 5.6 percent to $13.24 billion. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $13.07 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
“We capitalized on increased demand for exterior products as a result of warmer weather, while at the same time helped customers tackle interior projects, allowing us to deliver positive comps in all product categories,” said Chief Executive Officer Robert Niblock.
Home Depot on Tuesday also reported better-than-expected sales.
Lowe’s net earnings fell to $11 million, or 1 cent per share, from $450 million, or 46 cents per share, hurt by a $530 million impairment charge as it exited a joint venture in Australia.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)
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