Lowe’s net earnings for third quarter surge

Thanks to a housing market that continues to flourish, Lowe's had a solid third quarter, with sizable gains in earnings and sales.

The company's net earnings jumped 26% to $499 million. Sales for the quarter increased 7.3% to $13 billion, up from $12.1 billion in the year ago quarter. Comparable sales for the quarter increased 6.2%.

"This balanced performance resulted from our improved collaboration and execution within a strengthening home improvement market, combined with our employees' hard work and continued dedication to serving customers," said Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO.

"The home improvement industry is poised for persisting growth in the fourth quarter and further acceleration in 2014," Niblock added.

Lowe's sales gains followed by one day the third-quarter report from rival Home Depot, which reported sales gains of 7.4%

The company said it expects to open nine stores in fiscal year 2013, a year in which it expects comparable-store sales to increase about 5%.

Despite the solid numbers posted by Lowe's, shares of the company dropped on Wall Street over its slightly lower-than-expected earnings per share numbers.

At the end of the quarter, Lowe's operated 1,831 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 200.1 million sq. ft. of retail selling space.



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