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MOORESVILLE, NC-Second-quarter profits increased 11% at Lowe’s Cos. Inc., but the nation’s second largest home improvement chain warned that earnings for the remainder of the year could come up short as consumers continue to cope with a sluggish housing market, higher energy costs and rising interest rates.

The Mooresville, NC retailer, which opened 24 stores during the quarter, said net income for the three months ending Aug. 4 rose to $935 million, or 60 cents per share, from $839 million, or 52 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The company said sales were also up more than 12% to $13.4 billion due largely to market gains in flooring, appliances, outdoor power equipment and cabinets. Sales at stores opened at least a year were also up 3.3% for the period, the company reported.

But a slowdown in the housing market combined with higher fuel prices and rising interest rates could have an impact on sales at the firm’s 1,281 stores, the company said. In response to that projected slowdown, Lowe’s cut its full-year sales growth forecast from 13% to 11%, saying continued pressure in the housing and home improvement market could impact store sales. Third-quarter earnings were expected to come in at between 45 cents and 48 cents per share with same-store sales ranging from flat to up by 2%, the company said.

“Near-term pressures on the US consumer have led to a more cautious outlook for the balance of the year,” said Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and chief executive officer. Niblock said he remained confident about the industry’s long-term prospects due to continued low home mortgage rates and improving employment rates.

For the year, the company anticipates profit between $2 and $2.07 per share with same-store sales growth of between 2% to 3%. That forecast was down from the company’s May projections when it said it anticipated profits of between $2.07 to $2.11 per share and same-store sales gains of 4% to 5%.

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