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Like Home Depot, Lowe's gains from warm winter

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Lowe's Cos, (LOW-N) the world's second-largest home improvement chain, reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales as a warm winter prompted many homeowners take up renovation projects that they normally take up only in the spring.

The results echoed those from larger rival Home Depot Inc., which also reported stellar sales due to strong demand for everything from paint to concrete in the unseasonably warm quarter.

The company's sales rose 11 percent to $11.63 billion US in the fourth quarter ended on Feb. 3, well ahead of the analysts' average estimate of $11.34 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 3.4 percent.

Net income rose to $322 million, or 26 cents a share, from $285 million, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 24 cents a share, in line with the analysts' average estimate.

For the current fiscal year, Lowe's forecast earnings of $1.75 to $1.85 a share.

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