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Andreas in Gainers & Losers,

Investment idea - Lowe's Companies

Lowe's Companies (LOW), a major US company that operates a chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores, continues to demonstrate double-digit growth. According to the recently released report for Q3 2015, revenue rose 5.0% y-o-y to USD 14.36 bn. LFL sales were up 4.6% y-o-y (5.0% y-o-y in the US). LFL sales were driven by higher traffic and an increase in the average bill. Adjusted EPS surged 35.6% y-o-y to 80 cents, outpacing the median forecast by 2.7%. Lowe's Companies generates significant cash flows. The company generated operating cash flow totaling USD 4.5 bn in 9M15, allowing it to spend USD 3.4 bn for buyback and USD 700 mn for dividends. Quarterly dividend spiked 22% y-o-yto 28 cents, yielding 1.5%

The company’s strong Q3 results make the management upbeat about FY15. EPS is expected to increase 21.4% to USD 3.29 compared to USD 2.71 in 2014. LFL sales will be up 4.0-4.5% y-o-y. Total sales will climb 4.5-5.0% y-o-y. The company plans to open 15-20 new stores compared to the previous year. Lowe’s Companies operates 1,849 stores with a total floor space of 201.6 mn sq ft.

According to recent statistical data, Americans are once again spending a significant part of their savings to buy homes. Construction costs in the US rose 13% y-o-y to USD 1.11 tn in October, while housing construction costs climbed 16.8% y-o-y to USD 405.6 bn. Lowe's Companies became one of the main beneficiaries of this trend. I believe that the company will continue to exhibit double-digit growth of revenue and decent profit in the coming quarters. These factors, as well as higher dividend and buyback program, prompted me to leave my target price for Lowe's Companies unchanged at USD 85 and reiterate a Buy recommendation in the mid-term. The short-term technical target is USD 80.