Lowe's 1Q Profit Falls Nearly 18%

Charlotte, N.C. Lowe's Cos. reported a 17.9% drop in first-quarter earnings and lowered its guidance for the year on Monday as the slumping U.S. housing market and softer economy hurt sales.

Lowe's said it earned $607 million in the three months ended May 2 down from $739 million in the first quarter of 2007. Revenue slipped to $12.0 billion from $12.2 billion a year ago.

Same-store sales declined 8.4%. The company predicted that number would drop at least 6% in the current quarter and the year.

"The challenging sales environment we have been experiencing for the past six quarters continued into the first quarter of 2008," said chairman and CEO Robert A. Niblock in a statement. "The generally poor economic outlook, including well-known housing pressures, rising food and fuel prices and a more negative employment picture eroded consumer confidence and impacted discretionary purchases for the home."

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