Why Lowe’s Near-Term Guidance Whiff Doesn’t Matter

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Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The company posted $2.07 in earnings per share (EPS) and $20.89 billion in revenue, while the consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $2.02 in EPS on revenue of $20.78 billion. In the fiscal second quarter of last year, the retailer said it had EPS of $1.57 and $19.5 billion in revenue.

Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 5.3% for the most recent quarter.

During the quarter, the company announced that it expects to close all 99 Orchard Supply Hardware stores, which are located in California, Oregon and Florida, as well as the distribution facility that services those stores, by the end of fiscal 2018.

Note that this was the first earnings report under new CEO Marvin Ellison, who had previously worked at Home Depot as the president of the northern and western divisions. The company also announced that it would be taking on David Denton from CVS as its new chief financial officer.

Judging by the investors’ reaction from this report, Lowe’s transformation is going just fine, although the store closures may hinder near-term guidance. However, in the long term, it seems the company is on the right path.

Looking ahead to the 2018 fiscal full year, the company expects to see GAAP EPS in the range of $4.50 to $4.60 and total sales increasing about 4.5%, with comparable sales increasing 3%. The consensus estimates call for $5.45 in adjusted EPS and $71.86 billion in revenue for the year.

Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO, commented:

We posted solid results this quarter by capitalizing on delayed spring demand. We are committed to driving even stronger performance in the future by sharpening our focus on retail fundamentals and by limiting any projects and initiatives that take us away from our core mission of being a great omni-channel home improvement retailer. I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and commitment to the company.

Shares of Lowe’s traded at $107.88, or 8.1% higher, early Wednesday. The consensus analyst price target is $109.10, and a 52-week range is $70.76 to $108.98.

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