Results for the third quarter at Lowe’s, the home improvement retailer, missed expectations. The company said Wednesday that net income came to $0.88 a share, below the $0.96 a share analysts were expecting, while a year ago the company earned $0.80 on the bottom line.
Sales grew by 9.6 percent to $15.7 billion, while same-store sales at units open at least a year were up 2.6 percent (projections on Wall Street were for higher readings on both fronts, albeit slightly higher). Lowe’s management stated on the earnings call that traffic in the stores had slowed a bit in the quarter but had begun to pick up in October, which led to the sub-3 percent growth as compared to earlier estimates of 4 percent same-store sales growth. Customers had undertaken fewer home improvement projects during a warmer-than-usual fall season.
Looking forward, Lowe’s said it expects to see annual net income of $3.52 a share, which is below the former guidance of $4.06 a share. The Street had taken a less sanguine view of that metric, with $4 a share in place. Shares were off nearly 3 percent on Thursday.