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Lowe's Profit Up 33% as Sales Climb

November 18, 2003|From Reuters

Lowe's Cos., the No. 2 home improvement retailer, said third-quarter profit rose 33%, beating analysts' estimates, as the improving economy boosted sales.

Lowe's said sales at stores open at least a year, a key measure of retail performance, jumped 12.4%.

But the company's shares fell. Analysts said the sales gain failed to result in a better expense ratio. They also said some investors might have expected a higher fourth-quarter forecast and noted that shares of Lowe's and Home Depot may look fairly valued in light of new highs reached last month.

The Mooresville, N.C.-based retailer posted third-quarter earnings of $452 million, or 56 cents a share, up from $339 million, or 43 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 24% to $7.92 billion.

Lowe's shares fell 72 cents to $57.91 on the NYSE.

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