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Lowe’s Posts Lower 4Q Profit

BY CSA STAFF

Charlotte, N.C. Lowe’s Cos. reported lower quarterly profit on Monday and forecast full-year earnings below Wall Street estimates, citing “challenging” days to come as the slumping housing market hurts sales. The company also pared its store growth plans for the year.

Earnings came to $408 million for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, down 33% from $613 million a year earlier. Sales edged down to $10.38 billion from $10.41 billion a year earlier. Same-store sales fell 7.6%.

The home-improvement sector has suffered as consumers pulled back spending on home renovations in the face of declining home values, lower sales and tighter credit requirements.

The retailer said it plans to open 120 stores in 2008. In September, it said it would open 135 to 145 stores in North America annually from 2008 through 2010. During its 2007 fiscal year, Lowe’s opened 153 stores, including about four relocations.

For the year, Lowe’s reported earnings of $2.8 billion compared with $3.1 billion in 2007. Revenue rose to $48.3 billion from $46.9 billion a year ago.

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Onkyo to stop HD-DVD production

BY CSA STAFF

OSAKA, Japan Following Toshiba’s announcement that it would no longer manufacturer HD-DVD products, Onkyo said it has decided to discontinue development and production of HD-DVD players. Onkyo’s players are made with core parts supplied by Toshiba.

Onkyo said it has distributed and sold about 2000 units of HD-DVD players and will continue to provide support for all owners of its products. The company said it will continue to manufacture products geared toward the Blu-ray format.

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Saks puts ‘Want It!’ on wheels

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Saks Fifth Avenue is taking its “Want It!” campaign on wheels. According to reports, the retailer has decorated a double-decker bus with Want It! images and will use the bus as a means of transporting customers from the flagship Fifth Avenue store to popular destinations on the Upper East Side.

Customers can take the bus from March 13 to 15 and receive free admission to several museums featured in Saks’ Want It! ads. According to reports, Saks’ fashion director will be among personalities making guest appearances on the bus.

The Saks tour guides will reportedly sport Want It! fashions and use a script that promotes the season’s trends and includes a history of Saks Fifth Avenue.

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