Lowe’s comes up shy with an earnings forecast that reflects economic uncertainty

Lowe’s Cos. Inc.
came up shy with its full-year outlook Tuesday, but its stock was moving fractionally higher in premarket action. The company racked up fiscal fourth-quarter net earnings of $1.0 billion, or $1.77 a share, compared with $957 million, or $1.58 a share, in the year-before period. Lowe’s saw adjusted earnings per share of $2.28, while analysts surveyed by FactSet were modeling $1.68. Revenue fell to $18.6 billion from $22.4 billion. Lowe’s noted that the year-earlier quarter’s figures included about $1.4 billion from an extra week and $958 million from its Canadian retail business. The FactSet consensus was for $18.5 billion for the most recent period. Comparable sales fell 6.2% as Lowe’s called out “a slowdown in DIY demand and unfavorable January winter weather.” The company noted that comparable sales for its Pro customer base were flat for the period. For the new fiscal year that just began, Lowe’s anticipates $84 billion to $85 billion in total sales as well as a 2% to 3% drop in comparable sales, forecasts that reflect “near-term macroeconomic uncertainty.” Analysts were modeling $85.4 billion. Lowe’s also models $12 to $12.30 in full-year EPS, while analysts were looking for $12.68.

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