January 30, 2023

Shoppers wearing protective masks wait in line to pick up a store from Lowe’s Cos on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. To be entered in San Bruno, California, USA.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Lowe’s said Wednesday that sales in the same store rose 28.1% in the fourth quarter as consumers continued to spend money on home projects during the pandemic.

This is higher than the 22% growth forecast by analysts, according to StreetAccount.

The company’s shares rose less than 1% in premarket trading.

The company reported for the quarter ended Jan. 29, relative to Wall Street expectations, based on an analyst survey conducted by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $ 1.33, adjusted versus expected $ 1.21
  • Revenue: $ 20.31 billion versus $ 19.48 billion expected

Lowe reported net income of $ 978 million, or $ 1.32 per share, for the fourth quarter compared to $ 509 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $ 1.33 per share, beating the analysts polled by Refinitiv, which was forecasting $ 1.21 per share.

Net sales rose to $ 20.31 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of $ 19.48 billion.

Sales in its US stores were open for at least a year and online sales were up 28.6% for the quarter.

Marvin Ellison, CEO of Lowe, said in a press release that the company was seeing high demand across the board. Sales growth was 16% in all merchandising departments and more than 19% in all regions of the country. Online sales rose 121% in the quarter.

Lowe’s repeated his previous prediction. On an investor’s day in December, CFO David Denton said home improvement sales are likely to decline in 2021 as more people get Covid-19 vaccines and spend more time outside their homes. He said the retailer’s outlook for 2021 is for a mix-adjusted decline in home improvement demand of between 5% and 7%.

The company said it spent over $ 100 million and more than $ 900 million on additional Covid-related compensation and benefits for employees in the fourth quarter. It said it spent nearly $ 1.3 billion on pandemic-related spending, including higher wages and business security measures during the fiscal year.

At the close of trading on Tuesday, Lowe’s shares were up nearly 35% over the past year. The company’s market value is $ 123.53 billion.

Read the full press release here.

This story evolves and is updated.