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.