Shares of home improvement retailer Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) rose sharply in 2017, climbing 30.7%, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock benefited from strong fundamental performance and a positive bump in sales during the second half of the year, driven by hurricane recovery efforts.
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Lowe's excellent performance throughout the year was particularly evident by its strong comparable sales and earnings-per-share growth.
In Lowe's trailing nine months as of the end of its third fiscal quarter of 2017, comparable sales were up 4% year over year. Comparable sales growth at the end of the year, coming in at 5.6% in Q3, was higher than this nine-month average.
Lowe's earnings per share for the nine months ended November 2017 were $3.42, up 25% year over year. Lowe's third-quarter earnings per share rose 19.3% compared to adjusted EPS in the year-ago quarter (EPS is adjusted in the year-ago quarter to exclude $462 million of non-cash pre-tax charges).
Management cites a supportive macroeconomic backdrop and well-executed investments in its integrated omni-channel capabilities as key drivers for its solid growth recently.
For the full fiscal year of 2017, which Lowe's hasn't reported yet, management expects total sales to increase 5% and comparable sales for the period to rise 3.5%. Importantly, management also expects its operating income for the full fiscal year to expand 80 to 100 basis points.
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