Lowe’s reports better-than-expected quarterly sales, beating analysts’ projections

Lowe’s Companies, Inc posted better-than-expected first-quarter sales, beating analysts’ projections, thanks to favorable weather conditions and strong demand for home renovation and building products.

The hardware chain reported a 7.8 percent increase in sales to $15.2 billion, above what analysts had forecast of $14.9 billion.

Same-store sales rose 7.3 percent, beating rival Home Depot’s 6.5 percent rise.

Lowe’s is the world’s second-largest hardware chain, behind The Home Depot.

Excluding some items, earnings in the first quarter were 87 cents a share, higher than what analysts had expected of 85 cents per share, according to Reuters.

Overall, the company reported a profit of $884 million, or 98 cents a share, up from $673 million, or 70 cents, in the year-ago period.

For 2016, the retailer expects earnings of around $4.11 a share, up from previous guidance for $4 a share, while guidance for comparable-store sales is still estimated to rise 4%.

Lowe’s said “project expertise and commitment to customer service allowed us to capitalize on strong home-improvement demand during the quarter.”

“We executed well in the quarter, growing both transaction and average ticket to achieve comparable sales growth that exceeded our expectations,” according to Chief Executive Robert Niblock.

A report by the Wall Street Journal noted that although consumers in the US have cut spending on products such as clothes, “they have been willing to shell out for refurbishing their dwellings amid favorable housing trends.”

Anne Steel said: “Home prices are rising, giving owners more confidence to spend on larger projects. More people are moving and starting new homes, and America’s old housing stock means plenty of opportunities for other improvement projects.”