Hurricanes provide a boost for Mooresville-based Lowe’s - | WBTV Charlotte

Hurricanes provide a boost for Mooresville-based Lowe’s

Lowe’s in Gastonia in 2014 (Credit: Observer file photo) Lowe’s in Gastonia in 2014 (Credit: Observer file photo)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Katherine Peralta | The Charlotte Observer) - Mooresville-based Lowe’s reported better-than-expected earnings Tuesday for the third quarter, a period when hurricanes Irma and Harvey battered parts of the coastal U.S. and drove up demand for emergency supplies.

Heavier store traffic and lower costs for Lowe’s are also providing a tailwind for Lowe’s, which has been working to catch up to its Atlanta-based rival, Home Depot, the nation’s largest home improvement retailer.

For the quarter that ended Nov. 3, Lowe’s reported a profit of $872 million, up from $379 million a year prior, which included $462 million in non-cash pre-tax charges. Excluding certain items, earnings were $1.05 a share, above the consensus estimate of $1.02 a share from analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Same-store sales, an industry term that gauges the health of a retailer and refers to stores open at least one year, surged 5.7 percent for the quarter. Total revenue for the quarter rose to $16.77 billion, up from $15.74 billion a year ago and above the Wall Street estimate of $16.57 billion.

Lowe’s said hurricane-related sales for the quarter were approximately $200 million.

In a statement, CEO Robert Niblock also said that the quarter’s results were bolstered by improved offerings for pro customers, such as contractors, who tend to spend more than the average do-it-yourself customer.

Last week, Lowe’s rival Home Depot similarly reported better-than-expected earnings and a surge in sales for the third quarter as spending rose on rebuilding materials following the hurricanes in Florida and Texas, as well as wildfires out West.

In a research note, RBC Capital Markets analyst Scot Ciccarelli said this was “a very solid quarter” for Lowe’s.

“While consistency in the results is still lacking, we believe the company’s solid top-line performance ... provides another positive datapoint for the home improvement sector, and Lowe’s seemed to hold share vs. Home Depot this quarter,” Ciccarelli said.

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