Lowe’s Net Climbs 14.3 Percent in First Quarter

       

       

MOORESVILLE, N.C.-First-quarter net income for Lowe’s gained 14.3 percent over the first quarter of last year, finishing at $527 million.

A healthy 7.9 percent rise in net sales and a watchful eye on expenses helped firm the home-improvement retailer’s bottom line in the quarter, which ended on May 4. Net sales totaled $13.2 billion and included a same-store sales pickup of 2.6 percent, with U.S. same-store sales rising 2.7 percent.

Selling, general and administrative expenses, while increasing 3.9 percent in dollars, dropped 95 basis points as a percentage of sales to 24.7 percent. Gross margin slipped 74 basis points to 34.7 percent.

Crediting Lowe’s for “solid results,” Robert Niblock, chairman, president and CEO, said the company capitalized on better-than-expected weather during most of the quarter. “We continue to maintain a cautious view of the housing and macro demand environment, and are focused on what we can control,” Niblock said.

Lowe’s said it is expecting total sales for all of the fiscal year to increase by from 1 to 2 percent. This would include a same-store sales gain of from 1 to 3 percent, the company said.