Lowe’s cuts full-year sales forecast, as spending on do-it-yourself projects weakens

Lowe’s cuts full-year sales forecast, as spending on do-it-yourself projects weakens




  • Lowe’s cut its full-year sales outlook.
  • The home improvement retailer beat first-quarter earnings and revenue expectations.
  • The company’s shares dipped in premarket trading.

A Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse worker collects carts in a parking lot on August 17, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Lowe’s cut its full-year outlook Tuesday, as lumber prices fell and do-it-yourself customers bought fewer items.

The home improvement retailer’s lowered its forecast even as it beat Wall Street’s revenue and earnings expectations for the fiscal first quarter.

Shares of the company rose more than 1% in early trading, as investors weighed the results.

On a call with investors, CEO Marvin Ellison said lumber deflation, unfavorable weather and lower spending by DIY customers hurt quarterly sales. He said the company expects “a pullback in discretionary consumer spending over the near term.”

Even so, he said the company is in a better spot than other retailers. He noted two-thirds of its sales come from nondiscretionary purchases, such as new appliances that replace broken ones or supplies for home repairs.

He added that “despite the macroeconomic environment with mixed-signals creating near-term pressures, we remain optimistic about the future of home improvement.”

Here’s what the company reported for the three-month period ended May 5 compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $3.67 adjusted vs. $3.44 expected
  • Revenue: $22.35 billion vs. $21.6 billion expected

Lowe’s net income for the three-month period was $2.26 billion, or $3.77 per share, compared with $2.33 billion, or $3.51 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales fell nearly 6% to $22.35 billion from $23.66 billion in the year-ago period, but exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.

Comparable sales dropped 4.3% in the fiscal first quarter. That’s lower than the 3.4% decline that Wall Street expected, according to StreetAccount.

Lowe’s is the latest retailer to warn of slower sales ahead, as consumers become thriftier and reluctant to spend on big-ticket and discretionary items. Many other retailers, including Walmart, Target and Home Depot, also noticed fewer purchases outside of the necessities.

The home improvement retailer said it now expects total sales for the full year to range between $87 billion and $89 billion, lower than the $88 billion to $90 billion it had previously forecast. It said it projects comparable sales to decline by 2% to 4% this fiscal year, below the flat to down 2% that it had said before.

It said adjusted earnings per share will range between $13.20 and $13.60, below its previous range of $13.60 to $14.00.

For Lowe’s and Home Depot, however, the time of year adds significance. Spring is the biggest sales season for home improvement.

The companies are not only competing for shoppers’ dollars as higher prices for groceries and more take up more of household budgets. They also are dealing with a shift in demand, as the spree of Covid pandemic-fueled home projects fades and consumers juggle other spending priorities, such as commutes, summer vacations and meals at restaurants.

Lowe’s competitor, Home Depot, posted a rare revenue miss with its quarterly report last week. The company missed sales expectations for the second consecutive quarter and cut its full-year forecast, as customers skipped big-ticket items like grills and opted for smaller, less expensive home projects.

Like Lowe’s, Home Depot also chalked up lower sales to colder and wetter weather in the western U.S. and falling lumber prices.

For Lowe’s, e-commerce was one of the quarter’s strengths.Online sales grew 6% compared with the year-ago period, as home professionals shopped on the company’s website and DIY customers used digital tools to help them visualize and estimate before tackling a project, Ellison said on the call.

Comparable sales to home professionals rose in the first quarter compared with the year-ago period, too. However, most of Lowe’s business — roughly 75% — comes from DIY customers.

That differs from Home Depot, which gets roughly half of its overall sales from home professionals, such as contractors and electricians.

Shares of Lowe’s closed Monday at $203.15, bringing the company’s market value to $121.15 billion. Its stock is up nearly 2% so far this year, trailing the S&P 500′s gains of 9%.


To get started

click "All channels"

to select what

interests you