Lowe's profits, sales decline

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(AP) MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Lowe's (LOW) fiscal second-quarter net income dropped 10 percent, hurt by a timing shift and a charge tied to job cuts. Its performance missed Wall Street's expectations.

The world's second-biggest home improvement retailer also lowered its fiscal 2012 earnings and revenue outlooks on Monday.

Lowe's Cos. earned $747 million, or 64 cents per share, for the period ended Aug. 3. That's down from $830 million, or 64 cents per share, a year ago.

Fiscal 2012 has one less week than last year. The timing shift lowered earnings by about 3 cents per share.

Removing a charge tied to previously announced job cuts and the impact of the timing shift, earnings were 68 cents per share.

Revenue fell 2 percent to $14.25 billion from $14.54 billion. Lowe's said that the timing shift accounted for 1.8 percentage points of the decline.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 70 cents per share on revenue of $14.44 billion.

Revenue at stores open at least a year dipped 0.4 percent and edged down 0.2 percent at U.S. locations. This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

For fiscal 2012, Lowe's now expects earnings of about $1.64 per share and revenue to be about flat with 2011's $50.21 billion. It previously predicted earnings of $1.73 to $1.83 per share, with revenue rising 1 percent to 2 percent.

Wall Street foresees full-year earnings of $1.80 per share on revenue of $50.58 billion.

Last week Lowe's rival Home Depot Inc. reported that its second-quarter net income rose 12 percent as customer spent more during the period on sprucing up their homes.

Lowe's, based in Mooresville, N.C., had 1,748 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico at the end of the quarter.