Why Lowe’s Is Suffering in Q3

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Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) released fiscal third quarter financial results before markets opened Tuesday. The company said that it had $1.04 in earnings per share (EPS) and $17.42 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates that called for $0.98 in EPS and $17.36 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $1.05 in EPS and $16.77 billion in revenue.

During the third quarter, sales increased 3.8%, and comparable sales increased 1.5% as a whole. Comparable sales increased 2.0% for the domestic business in the third quarter.

As of November 2, 2018, Lowe’s operated 2,133 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 214.7 million square feet of retail selling space.

Looking ahead to the full fiscal year, the company expects to see total sales increase roughly 4% and comparable sales increase 2.5% year over year with EPS in the range of $4.08 to $4.24. Consensus estimates are calling for $5.15 in EPS and $71.59 billion in revenue for the full year.

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

Our top priority in the third quarter was positioning Lowe’s for long-term success by identifying underperforming or non-core businesses and stores for divestiture. With our strategic reassessment substantially completed, we can now intensify our focus on the core retail business.

Shares of Lowe’s closed Monday at $91.35, with a consensus analyst price target of $118.07 and a 52-week range of $79.11 to $117.70. Following the announcement, the stock was down about 6% at $86.02 in early trading indications Tuesday.