MOORESVILLE, N.C. Home improvement retailer Lowe’s reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales and profit and cut its full-year earnings forecast, sending its shares down in premarket trading on Wednesday.Analysts had expected a stronger performance for the North Carolina-based company due to the strength in the housing market and higher spending on home renovations.Larger rival Home Depot boosted its full-year earnings forecast on Tuesday.Lowe’s, whose shares were down 6.7 percent in premarket trading, earned $1.37 per share, excluding items, below the average analysts’ estimate of $1.42, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.Net sales rose 5.3 percent to $18.26 billion, below the $18.45 billion analysts had expected. Home Depot’s sales rose 6.6 percent.Lowe’s said the cut in its earnings forecast reflected its acquisition of Canada’s Rona Inc.Sales at Lowe’s stores open more than 13 months rose 2 percent, compared with the 4.1 percent growth expected by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix. Home Depot’s same-store sales rose 4.7 percent.Net income rose to $1.17 billion, or $1.31 per share, in the second quarter ended July 29 from $1.13 billion, or $1.20 per share, a year earlier.
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