(By Balachander) Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW), a home improvement retailer, posted a jump in quarterly earnings amid growth in sales, and its shares rose 5.00 percent in Monday's pre-market trading.
Earnings per share (EPS) of 35 cents for the third quarter nearly doubled from 18 cents in the comparable period of last year, while Wall Street analysts projected 35 cents. Net earnings surged 76 percent to $396 million. Results for both the quarters included charges.
Net sales rose 1.9 percent to $12.07 billion, versus consensus estimate of $11.91 billion. Comparable store sales grew 1.8 percent.
Looking ahead for the full year ending Feb. 1, the company still expects EPS of about $1.64 on flat sales. Analysts expect EPS of $1.66 on sales of $50.08 billion.
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Lowe's now expects comparable store sales to increase roughly 1 percent on a 52 versus 52 week basis.
Earnings from retailers come amid cautious spending by consumers amid challenging economic conditions.
As of Nov. 2, 2012, Lowe's operated 1,750 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
LOW closed Friday's regular trading at $31.98. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $22.39 and $33.63.