Lowe’s Cos. Profit Falls to 19%

Lowe's Cos. said Monday that its fiscal second-quarter profit fell 19% and it decided not to pursue several potential future-store projects and lower North American store opening plan for next year.

It also gave second-half forecasts that fell short of Wall Street expectations. Lowe's /quotes/comstock/13*!low /quotes/nls/low ( LOW 20.22 , -2.61 , -11.43% ) shares dropped 12% in pre-market trading.

Net income dropped to $759 million, or 51 cents a share, from $938 million, or 63 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales fell 4.6% to $13.8 billion from $14.5 billion. On a same-store sales basis, they declined 9.5%, the Moorseville, North Carolina-based company said , MarketWatch reports.

Lowe’s and bigger Home Depot Inc. are competing for shoppers who are taking on fewer large projects during the housing slump. Sales in the three months ended July 31 fell 4.6 percent to $13.8 billion, also trailing estimates. The company said it will slow its expansion in North America next year.

Sales in stores open at least 13 months fell 9.5 percent in the period. Chris Horvers, an analyst with JP Morgan Securities Inc. in New York, projected a decline of 7 percent , Bloomberg reports.

Sales at the company, whose products range from gardening supplies and plumbing equipment to appliances and furniture, fell 4.6 percent to $13.8 billion. Sales at stores open at least a year, an important retail measure, fell 9.5 percent.

Lowe's shares were down 7.6 percent at $21.10 in trading before the market opened. (Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn), Reuters reports.

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