Lowe’s efforts to cut costs, spur sales paying off

MOORESVILLE, N.C., Mon Nov 19, 2012 – Lowe’s Cos. Inc.’s reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday in a sign its efforts to cut costs and improve its selection of home improvement items are working.

Preparation and rebuilding efforts tied to Superstorm Sandy and an improving housing market also boosted business at Lowe’s, the world’s No. 2 home improvement chain.

Shares of Lowe’s, which also raised its sales forecast for the year, were up $2.10, or 6.5 percent, at $34.08 in midday trade.

Rival Home Depot has won shoppers from Lowe’s in recent years by offering better pricing and service, while Lowe’s strategy of “everyday low prices” rather than promotions has driven some customers away.

Lowe’s has cut jobs, curbed store expansion and streamlined its supply chain to reduce costs while reining in inventory.

“The home improvement sector is still growing, so this is a sign that Lowe’s is getting more of their fair share,” Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom said of the results.