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Lowe's brings down annual sales outlook amid weaker demand for DIY products

Investing.com -- Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) has reported a decline in first-quarter sales and lowered its full-year financial outlook, as the home improvement chain was hit by a slowdown in discretionary spending by shoppers and softening lumber prices.

Comparable sales for the three months ended on May 5 slipped by 4.3%, while total sales during the period fell to $22.35 billion from $23.66B in the corresponding timeframe last year.

In a statement, Lowe's chairman Marvin Ellison said the decrease in the top-line result was driven by "record lumber deflation and unfavorable spring weather." Demand for the high-priced items like grills and patio furniture sold by the company was also weaker than anticipated, in the latest sign that recent cost-of-living pressures are leading customers to rein in spending on non-essential items.

Ellison said this trend convinced the business to bring down its 2023 guidance. Lowe's now expects comparable sales to slide by 2% to 4% compared to the prior year, down from its initial estimate that the figure would either stay flat or drop by as much as 2%.

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Total sales, meanwhile, are now seen at $87B to $89B. Lowe's had previously expected the number to come in at $88B to $90B.

However, Lowe's did get a boost in its most recent quarter from the 2022 sale of its Canadian retail business, which helped lift diluted earnings per share by $0.10. But excluding this benefit, the company still posted a 5% year-on-year increase in adjusted diluted EPS to $3.67.

Shares edged marginally lower in premarket trade on Tuesday.

TD Cowen analysts said the company slashed its annual sales outlook to reflect a softening U.S. consumer.

"We're unsure if guide is de-risked," the analysts said in a note.

Goldman Sachs analysts added: "The lowered guidance was not unexpected, in our view, given the recent guide down from [Home Depot]."

Additional reporting by Senad Karaahmetovic

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