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Lowe’s profit drops 30% as it sees signs of improvement


Mooresville, N.C. Lowe's Cos. on Monday posted a 30% drop in quarterly profit as consumers put off big renovations as the U.S. housing market remains sluggish. But the home-improvement chain gave a fourth-quarter profit forecast that could beat Wall Street expectations, noting that it was starting to see signs of improvement in some of the hardest-hit housing markets, including California and Florida.

"The broad-based pressures of the macro environment are clearly evident in our sales as consumers continue to delay large purchases until they feel better about the economic outlook," Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock said in a statement.

Lowe's profits fell to $344 million in the third quarter that ended on Oct. 30, from $488 million a year earlier. Sales fell 3% to $11.37 billion, slightly above expectations of $11.28 billion. Same-store sales fell 7.5%.

Lowe’s rival The Home Depot is due to report results on Tuesday.

Lowe's took an optimistic view of the fourth quarter and forecast that profits would range between 9 cents and 13 cents per share, which could beat analysts' expectations of a 10 cent profit per share.

Lowe's plans to open 13 new stores in the fourth quarter. It opened 12 stores and closed one during the third quarter.

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