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Investment idea - ​Lowe's Companies

Lowe's Companies (LOW), a major US company that operates a chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores, released a strong financial report for Q3FY15. According to the report, 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. Quarterlydividendspiked 22% y-o-yto 28 cents, yielding 1.5%

The company’s strong Q3 results make themanagement 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 area of 201.6 mn sq ft.

Taking into account recovery of the US economy, I believe that the company will continue to demonstrate 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 raise my target price for Lowe's Companies to USD 85 and reiterate a Buy recommendation in the mid-term. The short-term technical target is USD 80.