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Lowe's Q1 net income edges up as spending rises

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New York City Lowe's Cos. said Monday its net income rose 2.7% in the first quarter as people spent more money on home-improvement projects and bought more big-ticket items.

The company said it earned $489 million in the three-month period ended April 30. Last year the company earned $476 million in the same period.

Home-improvement retailers have been hurting in the weak economy as shoppers cut back on their spending to focus on only essentials. However, CEO Robert Niblock said in a statement people are again taking on projects and buying big-ticket items. Government stimulus programs including tax credit for homebuyers and rebates for energy-efficient products and warmer weather also helped results, he said, but added this doesn't mean a full rebound is in sight.

"While we are optimistic we will experience solid demand through the balance of the year, we view 2010 as a year of transition for our industry," he said in a statement.

The company opened 11 stores in the quarter to finish with 1,721 in North America.

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