Lowe’s sales surge, profit nearly doubles

Americans staying indoors just keep spending on their homes. One day after Home Depot reported strong quarterly results, smaller rival Lowe’s numbers showed even faster sales growth.

Quarterly same-store sales rose 28.1%, crushing analysts estimates and surpassing Home Depot’s nearly 25% gain. Lowe’s profit nearly doubled to $978 million.

Americans unable to spend on travel or leisure activities have put more money into remodeling and repairing their homes, and that has made Lowe’s and Home Depot among the biggest winners in the retail sector. But the rollout of vaccines and the hopes of a return to normalcy have raised expectations that sales growth will slow this year.

Like Home Depot, Lowe’s stayed away from providing a specific forecast. It reiterated the outlook it issued in December. Even with a “robust” year, it sees demand falling 5% to 7%. But Lowe’s said it expects to outperform the home improvement market and gain share.

Lowe’s shares fell in early trading Wednesday.