Lowe's optimistic on home improvement demand

STORY: Lowe’s raised its full-year profit forecast on Wednesday… betting the DIY crowd will continue to invest in their homes.

The company told investors it’s “confident that home improvement demand will remain strong”, though some worry that higher interest rates and higher prices for almost everything could keep shoppers away.

Lowe’s shares were up in mid-day trading, also helped by the expectation that this year’s gross margins will be up slightly from 2021 – a more optimistic projection than it gave in December when it forecast profit margins to be roughly flat.

Margins remain front and center for investors this earnings season as runaway inflation and labor costs threaten to chip away at corporate profits.

Lowe’s growth stands in contrast to Home Depot, which announced Tuesday that its margins fell in the same period – proof that Lowe’s is closing the gap with its larger rival, some analysts say.

Lowe’s same-store sales also rose 5% in the quarter, beating estimates of 3.1%.