Lowe's 2Q net income flat on muted demand

August 15, 2011 - 8:45 AM
Earns Lowes

FILE- In this file photo taken July 8, 2009, a shopper exits the Lowe's home improvement center in Springfield, Ill. Lowe's Cos. said Monday, Aug. 15, 2011, its second-quarter net income was nearly flat as volatile weather and shoppers' worries about the economy muted demand during the key summer selling season. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Lowe's Cos. said Monday its second-quarter net income was nearly flat as volatile weather and shoppers' worries about the economy muted demand during the key summer selling season.

The nation's second-largest home improvement retailer's net income for the three months ended July 29 totaled $830 million, or 64 cents per share. That compares with $832 million, or 58 cents per share, last year.

Excluding a one-time charge related to an evaluation of the value of some assets, mainly seven stores it closed Aug. 14, earnings totaled 68 cents per share. Analysts expected 66 cents per share, according to FactSet. Analyst expectations typically exclude one-time items.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $14.54 billion. Analysts expected $14.77 billion.

Revenue in stores open at least one year fell 0.3 percent. The measure is considered a key gauge of a retailer's financial health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year.

"Despite some recovery in our seasonal business, our performance for the quarter fell short of our expectations," said CEO Robert A. Niblock, in a statement.

Lowe's said its store in Sanford, N.C., which was destroyed by a tornado on April 16, will reopen Sept. 8.

In the third quarter, Lowe's expects net income of 30 cents to 33 cents per share, including a charge of a penny to 2 cents per share related to closing the seven stores on Aug. 14. It expects revenue to rise 2 percent, implying revenue of $11.82 billion.

For the fiscal year ending Feb. 3, Lowe's expects net income of $1.48 to $1.54 per share, including a reduction of 6 cents per share for the store closings. It predicts revenue will rise 2 percent, implying revenue of $49.8 billion. Analysts expect revenue of $50.38 billion.

Lowe's operates 1,753 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.