Lowe's Shares Downgraded After Earnings Miss

By Tonya Garcia Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Lowe's Cos. was downgraded to market perform from outperform at BMO Capital Markets after the home-improvement retailer reported second-quarter earnings that missed expectations. BMO lowered its price target to $82 from $89. "Earnings per share flow-through is likely to remain challenging as management continues attempting to strike the correct balance of needed investments (marketing/price) to improve the customer experience, including incremental store payroll hours, and amplifying its value messaging," analysts led by Wayne Hood wrote. Lowe's reported adjusted EPS of $1.57 and sales of $19.49 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.62 and sales of $19.55 billion. Lowe's shares are down 8.6% for the last three months, but up 2.7% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index is up 9.2% for 2017 so far.

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