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Lowe's profit rises, but chilly spring hurts sales

MOORESVILLE, N.C. Lowe's (LOW) first-quarter net income rose almost 3 percent, even as a wet and cool spring dampened sales of gardening products.

Spring is the biggest season for home improvement retailers. While the weather was chilly in the quarter, the improving housing market has helped such businesses.

Lowe's Cos. earned $540 million, or 49 cents per share, for the period ended May 3. That compares with $527 million, or 43 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts expected earnings of 51 cents per share for the world's second-biggest home improvement retailer.

Revenue for the North Carolina company dipped to $13.09 billion from $13.15 billion. Wall Street predicted $13.45 billion.

Lowe's maintained its fiscal 2013 forecasts Wednesday.

The chain's quarterly report comes one day after rival Home Depot Inc.'s first-quarter results topped predictions.