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Industry Dashboard for May 16, 2011

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Gas prices made a valiant stand against a  $4 national average, clocking in at $3.98 for the second week in a row. 

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Lowe’s posts sales and earnings declines in Q1

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The country’s second largest home center chain posted sales of $12.2 billion in its first quarter ended April 29. That’s down 1.6% as the one-two punch of bad weather and the weak economy took its toll.

The company’s earnings also declined — down 5.7% to $461 million. Comparable-store sales were down 3.3%.

"We delivered earnings per share within our guidance for the quarter, despite lower-than-expected sales,” commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. “During the quarter, we faced ongoing economic pressures, unfavorable weather conditions and tough comparisons to last year’s government stimulus programs. While we are focused on competing effectively in the current environment, we are also working diligently on our commitment to deliver better customer experiences. We are building momentum in 2011 behind our transformation from a home improvement retailer to a home improvement company.”

Looking ahead to the second quarter, Lowe’s expects sales to increase about 4%, and it expects comparable-store sales to increase about 2%. 

During the quarter, Lowe’s opened four stores, including one relocation, and closed one store that was damaged by a tornado. The company operates 1,751 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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T.Colesberry says:
May-16-2011 05:07 pm

Is this less than $300 per
Is this less than $300K per store? I don't feel so bad today.

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IHS Global forecast calls for patience

BY HBSDEALER Staff

J. Scott Hazelton, senior principal and director of the construction services practice of IHS Global Insight, pointed to the positive and negative forces affecting the 2011 economy during a presentation in Las Vegas last week.

Hazelton addressed the Presidents Council Advisory Board during the National Hardware Show last week.

"Things are getting better, but you still need to be patient," Hazelton said.

The IHS forecast calls for 2011 housing starts to finish the year at about 610,000, up 3.9% from 586,900 in 2010.

On the positive side of the macroeconomic picture, Hazelton pointed to a strong growth in manufacturing, healing financial markets, corporations flush with cash, an improving labor market and stimulus from the tax package.

Pushing the economy in the negative direction, he said, are the following factors: consumers and businesses remain cautious, no housing recovery, rising commodity prices, Japan’s earthquake disrupting the automotive industry, state and local budget cuts, and federal fiscal tightening ahead.

The Home Improvement Presidents Council provides a forum for buyers and sellers to build relationships and exchange information through various programs at the senior management level worldwide. 

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