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Lowe’s shares close higher on Wednesday, company forecasts lower annual sales as inflation weighs on demand

Lowe’s Companies Inc (LOW) on Wednesday warned of a hit to full-year sales and reported an unexpected drop in comparable sales, as demand for tools and paints eased from pandemic highs amid soaring inflation and a return to pre-pandemic work routines.

Lowe’s reported a surprise 0.3% drop in quarterly comparable sales, while the median analyst forecast had pointed to a 2.4% growth.

The home improvement chain now expects full-year total sales toward the lower end of its forecast range of $97 billion to $99 billion and it also forecasts comparable sales in the lower end of its previously expected range of -1% to +1% growth.

The company reported earnings of $4.67 per share in the second quarter ended July 29th, which exceeded market consensus of $4.58 per share, as costs dropped.

Lowe’s now expects full-year earnings per share at the upper end of its forecast range of $13.10 to $13.60 due to cost control and stable demand from professional builders.

Lowe’s shares closed higher for a sixth consecutive trading session in New York on Wednesday. The stock went up 0.58% ($1.25) to $215.37, after touching an intraday high at $221.19. The latter has been a price level not seen since March 29th ($221.34).

The shares of Lowe’s Companies Inc have retreated 16.68% so far in 2022 compared with a 10.33% loss for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2021, Lowe’s Companies Inc’s stock went up 61.04%, thus, it outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 26.89% gain.

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