Improving housing market gives Lowe's a boost

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Lowe's (LOW) third-quarter earnings jumped 17 percent and the home improvement retailer raised its annual forecast after turning in a performance that edged out most expectations Wednesday.

The company earned $585 million, or 59 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Oct. 31. That compares with earnings of $499 million, or 47 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had projected earnings of 58 cents per share.

Lowe's revenue climbed more than 5 percent to $13.68 billion, also surpassing Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $13.55 billion, according to Zacks.

Lowe's, based in Mooresville, North Carolina, now expects full-year earnings to be $2.68 per share, a nickel better than the company had forecast in August.

Analysts had been projecting per-share earnings of $2.63 per share, according to FactSet.

Shares of Lowe's Cos. climbed 2.3 percent, or $1.37, to $59.90 a couple hours before markets opened.