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Lowe's workers collect shopping carts in the parking lot at the Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse in Burbank, Calif., in this file photo. (FRED PROUSER/REUTERS)
Lowe's workers collect shopping carts in the parking lot at the Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse in Burbank, Calif., in this file photo. (FRED PROUSER/REUTERS)

Lowe’s May sales improve after severe winter hits first-quarter results Add to ...

Lowe’s Cos Inc said its sales picked up in May, after the company reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results as a severe winter in the United States hurt traffic to its stores.

The world’s second largest home improvement chain also maintained its sales growth forecast of 5 per cent for the year ending Jan. 30.

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Sales grew 2.4 per cent in the first quarter ended May 2, as strong demand for indoor products more than offset the impact of weakness in outdoor categories.

Lowe’s shares rose 2 per cent to $46.50 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

Larger rival Home Depot Inc also said on Tuesday that its sales in May were “robust.” The company said it expected to realize in the current quarter most of the sales lost in the first quarter due to the bad weather.

Lowe’s raised its full-year earnings forecast to $2.63 per share from $2.60 per share due to a lower tax rate.

Analysts on average were expecting $2.61 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Lowe’s revenue rose to $13.40-billion in the first quarter, but came below the average analyst estimate of $13.86-billion.

Comparable store sales rose 0.9 per cent.

Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix had expected comparable store sales to rise by 5 per cent.

Lowe’s said its net income rose to $624-million, or 61 cents per share, from $540-million, or 49 cents per share.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 58 cents per share. Analysts had expected a profit of 60 cents per share.

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