(Reuters) – Lowe’s Cos Inc rode a sustained boom in demand from people sprucing up their homes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, exceeding analyst estimates with quarterly sales of $20.31 billion.
The home-improvement chain, like larger rival Home Depot Inc, stayed away from providing a specific forecast for 2021, however, given the uncertainties in the market due to the health crisis.
Lowe’s and Home Depot have been among the biggest retail winners last year as Americans, unable to spend on travel or leisure activities, put more money into minor remodeling and repair works at their homes.
Same-store sales for Lowe’s rose 28.1% in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, beating analysts’ estimates for a 21.2% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Larger rival Home Depot reported a 24.5% gain on Tuesday.
The roll out of vaccines and the promise of a return to something closer to normal life, however, have raised expectations of slowing sales growth in 2021.
Lowe’s on Wednesday reiterated its December outlook when it provided a range of scenarios for 2021. Even a “robust” year for the home-improvement space would mean demand being down 5% to 7%, Lowe’s had said. It expects to outperform the home-improvement market by 300 to 400 basis points.
Lowe’s total net sales rose to $20.31 billion from $16.03 billion in the fourth quarter, beating estimates of $19.48 billion. Excluding items, the company earned $1.33 per share, beating estimates of $1.21.
Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva.