DIY projects ramp up in pandemic, and so do sales at Lowe’s

A massive surge in online sales and increased business at its U.S. stores helped push Lowe’s second-quarter performance above analysts’ estimates. Similar to rival Home Depot, Lowe’s Cos. has experienced stronger interest in its products as people continue to stay home amid the virus outbreak.  PHOTO CREDIT: Mark J. Terrill

Comparable store sales in the U.S. surged 35.1% at Lowe’s and online orders more than doubled with Americans spending much more time at home during the pandemic.

The report comes one day after Home Depot reported similarly explosive sales.

Lowe’s revenue for the three months ended July 31 climbed to $27.3 billion from $21 billion, the company said today, far better than the $24.85 billion analysts expected according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Online sales soared 135%, while same-store sales, including those outside the U.S., rose 34.2%.

CEO Marvin Ellison said in a prepared statement that customers seemed mostly focused on repair and maintenance of their homes.

At the same time, many are focused on finding a new home with more space for an office from which to work remotely, or one with a yard rather than a stoop.

On Tuesday the Commerce Department reported that construction of new U.S. homes surged 22.6% last month. The department said that new homes were started at an annual pace of nearly 1.5 million in July, the highest since February and well above what economists were expecting.

The National Association of Realtors said last month that its index of pending sales rose 16.6%, to 116.1 in June, its highest level since 2006.

Lowe’s earned $2.83 billion, or $3.74 per share, in the quarter. Removing restructuring costs, earnings were $3.75 per share. That’s better than the $3.03 per share Wall Street expected.

Shares of Lowe’s Companies Inc., based in Mooresville, N.C., climbed slightly before the market opened Wednesday.