Personal Finance

Why Lowe's Companies Stock Fell 15% in February

^SPX Chart

What happened

Home improvement giant Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) trailed the market last month, dropping 15% compared to a 4% decrease in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence .

^SPX data by YCharts .

The slump widened the gap between Lowe's and its chief rival, Home Depot (NYSE: HD) , which has seen its shares rise 60% over the past three years compared to a 16% increase for Lowe's.

So what

Lowe's fourth-quarter results didn't stack up well against the industry giant. In late February, the retailer announced a 4.1% increase in comparable-store sales that, while slightly better than expected, trailed Home Depot's 7.5% rate.

A contractor installs a window in a home.

Image source: Getty Images.

Profitability dipped, too, even as the retailer endured a modest drop in customer traffic. Home Depot, in contrast, managed a healthy 2% traffic boost.

Now what

CEO Robert Niblock and his team aren't happy with their broader retailing trends, so they've announced a wide range of initiatives they'll be taking in 2018 aimed at boosting sales growth, gross profit margin, and financial efficiency.

Management's forecast, meanwhile, predicts another year of yielding modest market share to the industry leader. Comps are projected to rise by 3.5%, compared to Home Depot's expectations of a 5% increase.

10 stocks we like better than Lowe's

When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor , has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Lowe's wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of March 5, 2018

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Home Depot. The Motley Fool has the following options: short May 2018 $175 calls on Home Depot and long January 2020 $110 calls on Home Depot. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot and Lowe's. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Personal Finance Videos

Black Friday Brings Higher Demand and Scarcer Deals

Nov 26, 2021

The Motley Fool

Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

Learn More