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Lowe’s numbers jump less than expected

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- First quarter profits at Lowe's Companies Inc. jumped 30.5 percent, to $590 million from $452 million last year, but still came in slightly shy of Wall Street's expectations, as wet, cold weather that put a chill on sales during March.

Analysts and investors had been expecting a per-share profit of 76 cents, but with sales taking a weather-related hit, earnings fell modestly short, at 74 cents.

Sales at the home improvement retailer advanced 14.2 percent, to $9.9 billion from $8.7 billion, while same-store sales rose 3.8 percent.

Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO, said, "An unusually cold, wet March in many parts of the country" took a bite out of sales, putting a cap on profits.

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