Home improvement warehouse operator Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) early Wednesday posted weaker than expected third quarter earnings results and slashed its 2017 outlook, sending its shares plummeting 6% in morning trading.
The Mooresville, NC-based company reported Q3 net income of $0.88 per share, which was a full nine cents worse than Wall Street expectations for $0.97. Revenue rose 9.6% from last year to $15.74 billion, also missing analysts’ view of $15.83 billion.
Comparable store sales, also known as “comps,” rose 2.7% in the latest period.
Looking ahead, Lowe’s cut its full-year 2017 earnings outlook to $3.52 per share, down from a prior outlook of $4.06 and well below Wall Street’s $4.03 estimate. 2017 revenues are seen rising 9% to 10%, to $64.4 to $65.0 billion, down from a previous outlook of $65 billion. Analysts are looking for $64.95 billion in revenue for the year.
LOW also lowered its comparable sales estimate to a range of 3% to 4%, compared with a prior estimate of 4%.
The company commented via press release:
“Our third quarter operating results were below our expectations due to slower sales in the first two months of the quarter,” commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “While we expected moderation in the second half of the year, traffic slowed more than we anticipated in August and September before improving in October, which put pressure on our profitability in the quarter.
“While we have made progress in driving productivity in recent years, we are in the process of evaluating meaningful incremental opportunities to drive shareholder value while continuing to meet customers’ needs in an omni-channel environment,” Niblock added.
Lowe’s shares plunged $4.05 (-5.87%) to $65.00 in premarket trading Wednesday. Prior to today’s report, LOW had fallen 9.19% year-to-date.