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Lowe’s posts higher-than-expected Q3 sales and profits

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Lowe’s Cos. said Monday that its third-quarter net income jumped 76%, helped by lower costs and higher revenue. Its adjusted earnings without charges and its revenue both beat Wall Street forecasts.

Lowe’s earned $396 million for the three months ended Nov. 2. That compares with $225 in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 2% to $12.07 billion from $11.85 billion. Same-store sales were up 1.8%.

Lowe’s has been retooling its pricing strategy, and last summer returned to offering permanent low prices on many items across the store, instead of offering promotional discounts.

"We are keenly focused on improving our core business," said CEO Robert A. Niblock. "Our level of execution is improving and we delivered solid results in the third quarter."

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Hibbett profit, sales rise in Q3; to open 60 stores in 2013

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Birmingham, Ala. — Hibbett Sports reported Friday that net income for the quarter ended Oct. 27 climbed 18.8% to $19 million, compared with $16 million in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 9.6% to $202.9 million, and same-store sales increased 6.4%.

The sporting goods retailer said it is on track to open 57 to 60 new stores in fiscal 2013, expand approximately 17 high-performing stores, and close up to 18 stores.

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Apax Funds to acquire Cole Haan from Nike for $570 million

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Private equity firm Apax Partners said Friday that it will acquire Cole Haan from Nike for $570 million in cash.

Cole Haan sells through 108 domestic stores, 68 international stores, online and through department stores. It has been a part of Nike since 1988.

To effect the acquisition, Apax is partnering with Jack Boys, who led the revitalization of Converse.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2013.

"The decision to divest of Cole Haan allows us to sharpen our focus on opportunities with the highest potential for strong returns, and to make sure the brands within the Nike portfolio are the most complementary to the Nike brand," said Nike president and CEO Mark Parker.

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