Lowe’s Earnings Cheat Sheet: Streak of Four Straight Profit Rises Snapped

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) reported its results for the first quarter. Lowe’s Companies Inc. is a home improvement retailer offering products to homeowners, renters and commercial business customers.

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Lowe’s Companies Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for the home improvement store fell to $461 million (34 cents/share) vs. $489 million (34 cents/share) a year earlier. A decline of 5.7% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Fell 1.6% to $12.19 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: LOW fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 36 cents/share. Estimates ranged from 34 cents per share to 40 cents per share.

Quoting Management: “We delivered earnings per share within our guidance for the quarter, despite lower than expected sales,” commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. “During the quarter, we faced ongoing economic pressures, unfavorable weather conditions and tough comparisons to last year’s government stimulus programs. While we are focused on competing effectively in the current environment, we are also working diligently on our commitment to deliver better customer experiences. We are building momentum in 2011 behind our transformation from a home improvement retailer to a home improvement company.”

Key Stats: Last quarter’s profit decrease breaks a streak of four consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 39% from the year earlier while the figure increased 17.4% in third quarter of the last fiscal year, 9.6% four quarters ago and 2.7% five quarters earlier.

From the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company’s current liabilities rose to $9.92 billion from $7.12 billion.

A year-over-year revenue decrease last quarter snaps a streak of four consecutive quarters of revenue increases. The best quarter in that span was the first quarter of the last fiscal year, which saw revenue rise 4.7%.

Competitors to Watch: The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD), Builders FirstSource, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDR), Lumber Liquidators Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:LL), Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ:TSCO), Hornbach-Baumarkt-AG (NYSE:HBM), PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM), Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL), D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI), KB Home (NYSE:KBH), Lennar Corp (NYSE:LEN), Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH), Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW), Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).

Stock Performance: Shares of LOW are down over 5% this morning from the previous close of $25.76.

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