Shares of Lowe's Cos. tumbled 5.5% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the home improvement retailer reported fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that missed expectations. Earnings for the quarter to Oct. 28 fell to $379 million, or 43 cents a share, from $736 million, or 88 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 88 cents, below the FactSet consensus of 96 cents. Revenue rose to $15.74 billion from $14.36 billion, but missed the FactSet consensus of $15.84 billion. Same-store sales increased 2.7%, missing the FactSet consensus for 3.0% growth. For the full fiscal year, Lowe's expects revenue growth of 9% to 10% and EPS of $3.52. The FactSet consensus implies revenue growth of 9.7% growth and EPS of $4.00. "Our third-quarter operating results were below our expectations due to slower sales in the first two months of the quarter," said Chief Executive Robert A. Niblock. "While we expected moderation in the second half of the year, traffic slowed more than we anticipated in August and September before improving in October, which put pressure on our profitability in the quarter." He said the company was currently evaluating "meaningful incremental opportunities to drive shareholder value." The stock has dropped 9.2% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 4.2% and the S&P 500 has climbed 6.7%.
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