Lowes on the hunt for Canadian takeovers

American home improvement retailer Lowe's reiterated Wednesday it is continuing to look for acquisitions in Canada, despite its failed attempt to take over Rona.

“There are other ways to attain scale in Canada,” CEO Robert Niblock told analysts during a conference call, saying he would like to have at least 100 stores in Canada. It now has 32.

Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe’s shares closed down 42 cents, or 1.18 per cent, at $35.20 US in New York.

The firm also said it was sticking to its earnings and revenue forecasts for fiscal 2012. It expects to make about $1.64 per share for the year on revenue of $50.21 billion, about the same as last year.

Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of $1.73 per share on revenue of $50.3 billion.

Niblock said last month during the company’s last earnings report that it was still interested in acquiring a Canadian company.

Without naming any possible targets, Niblock said the company needed “more scale” in Canada.

Lowe's withdrew its $15 a share bid for Rona in September after being rebuffed by its then-CEO, Robert Dutton, and after the Quebec government increased its stake in the company by buying up shares through the provincial pension plan.

The province also expressed concern about a U.S. takeover.

Rona, whose shares closed up one per cent Wednesday at $10.16 in Toronto, currently has nearly 30,000 employees and 830 locations.

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