Appliance and home improvement retailer Lowe's Companies reported first quarter net earnings of $527 million, up 14.3% over the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.
Sales for 1Q 2012 were up 7.9% to $13.2 billion from $12.2 billion in 1Q 2011. (Lowe's fiscal year ends on the Friday nearest the end of January, which gave fiscal 2011 53 weeks. The week shift aided the 1Q 2012 sales increase by $514 million or 4.2%.)
Comparable store sales for were up 2.6%; comparable store sales for the U.S. business were up 2.7%.
"While we capitalized on better than anticipated weather during most of the quarter, demand for seasonal products slowed toward the end," said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president, and CEO. "We continue to maintain a cautious view of the housing and macro demand environment, and are focused on what we can control."
As of May 2012 Lowe's had 1,747 stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico representing 196.7 million square feet of retail selling space.
The retail company expects total sales in fiscal year 2012 - with 52 weeks instead of the 53 in fiscal 2011 - to increase 1% to 2%. Comparable store sales are expected to be up 1% to 3%.
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