Record second-quarter earnings at Lowe's

Lowe’s, the world’s second largest home channel retailer, reported second-quarter earnings of $1.02 billion, up 9 percent from $935 million last year -- a record, according to the company.

Sales for the quarter were up 5.8 percent to $14.2 billion from $13.4 billion last year. Comparable-store sales were down 2.6 percent.

The comp-store sales decline was in line with guidance, said chairman and CEO Robert Niblock, “ despite the external pressures impacting our results.”

"Macro economic factors, including the many aspects of the housing market, continue to result in regionally disparate performance," Niblock said. "Markets in California and Florida, generally considered most pressured by housing, continue to perform significantly worse than average.”

Comparatively, the company’s markets in the Northeast, while still producing negative comparable-store sales, showed “encouraging signs of improvement” during the quarter, he said.

Lowe’s opened 26 new stores in the United States during the quarter, bringing the company’s total store count as of Aug. 3 to 1,424 stores in 49 states. The company expects to open 40 new stores in the third quarter. Sales are anticipated to increase between 7 percent and 8 percent, and comp-store sales are expected to remain flat next quarter, according to Lowe’s.

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