Lowe’s beats sales estimates as lockdowns spur home improvement spending

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FILE PHOTO: A Lowe’s retail store is shown in Carlsbad, California, U.S., May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) – Lowe’s Cos Inc (LOW.N) beat quarterly estimates for same-store sales on Wednesday, as coronavirus lockdowns led people to spend more on tools and paint for home remodeling and repairs, sending shares of the home improvement chain up 8%.

More time on people’s hands due to shelter-in-place orders and coronavirus stimulus checks have allowed them to take up a variety of do-it-yourself house projects, such as small repairs, painting and gardening, boosting sales for Lowe’s, as well as larger rival Home Depot Inc (HD.N).

Lowe’s online sales surged 80% in the quarter, as customers flocked to its website since the company had to limit its operating hours and implement other social distancing measures at its stores to minimize the risk of the virus spreading.

The massive jump in sales also offset higher expenses to compensate employees running operations during the health crisis.

The company’s net earnings rose 27.8% to $1.34 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the first quarter ended May 1.

Excluding certain items, the company earned $1.77 per share, beating estimates of a profit of $1.32 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Lowe’s same-store sales jumped 11.2%, while analysts were expecting only a 3.4% increase. HD reported a 6.4% rise in same-store sales, also beating estimates.

Lowe’s total net sales rose nearly 11% to $19.68 billion. It also scrapped its full-year outlook.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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