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Summary: Lowe's announced an 11% increase in 3Q profits, but projected a fourth quarter decline of 4% from last year's $10.8 billion. Nevertheless, its shares rose 19 cents to $30.67, an indication that many investors have confidence in the second-largest home improvement retailer for the long-term, in spite of a sluggish housing market. Lowe's reported earnings of $716 million, or 46 cents a share for the third quarter, up from $646 million, or 40 cents a share for the same period last year, and an increase in revenue of $11.2 billion from $10.6 billion a year ago. However, its same-store sales dropped 4% and Lowe's net income fell short of the $935 million reported in the second quarter. Lowe's main rival, Home Depot, reported a sluggish third quarter and lowered its forecast for the fourth quarter, while indicating that the slow housing market is to blame. "If we had to declare a winner from Q3 results it would be Home Depot," Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter said in a research note.
Related links: Conference Call: Lowe's 3Q 2006 [Web Cast] • Press Release. Media coverage: Motley Fool • TheStreet.com. Commentary: Time to Buy Housing Stocks • Home Depot & Lowe's: As Goes Housing .
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Lowe's (NYSE:LOW)• Competitors: Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Wolseley plc (WOS), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)
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