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MOORESVILLE — Lowe’s Cos.’ first-quarter profit climbed 14 percent, as warmer weather helped boost sales. But the world’s second-biggest home improvement company lowered its full-year earnings forecast on Monday, saying it is still cautious on the housing market and economic conditions.

While warmer weather helped Lowe’s quarterly results, Chairman, President and CEO Robert Niblock said in a statement that demand for seasonal products slowed toward the end of the period.

Like many retailers, Lowe’s has continued to deal with consumers remaining cautious in spending on their homes as the housing slump and soft economic conditions continue.

The Mooresville, N.C. retailer reported net income of $527 million, or 43 cents per share, for the period ended May 4. That’s up from $461 million, or 34 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $13.15 billion from $12.19 billion.

The performance beat the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet, who forecast earnings of 42 cents per share on revenue of $12.99 billion.

Last week, rival Home Depot Inc. reported that its first-quarter net income climbed almost 28 percent, with revenue up 6 percent.

Revenue at Lowe’s stores open at least a year increased 2.6 percent, including 2.7 percent in the U.S. This figure is a key gauge of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Lowe’s expects 2012 earnings of $1.


Campbell Soups Co.’s net income slips

CAMDEN — Campbell Soup Co. says it net income slipped by 5 percent in its fiscal third quarter because of higher costs and sluggish sales.

The Camden, N.J.-based company says it earned $177 million, or 55 cents per share, in the three months ended April 29. That compares with a net income of $187 million, or 57 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 56 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 52 cents per share, according to FactSet.

The company said its gross profit margin fell to 38.8 percent, from 40.4 percent, as a result of higher costs for ingredients and increased promotional sales.

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