Lowe's Cos. reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales and cut its fiscal-year outlook for the second time in three months as homeowners put off big renovations in an anemic U.S. economy.
The news pushed the second-largest home improvement chain's shares down 1.3 percent Monday, and made some analysts take a more cautious stance on retailers selling hard goods such as furniture and appliances.
Lowe's is a victim of the ailing economy, weak housing market as well as cut-throat competition from larger rival Home Depot Inc., analysts said.
"The bulk of what is happening here is that the economy has yet to give them traction," Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Schick told Reuters.
U.S. homebuilder sentiment remained stuck near historic lows in August.
Consumer sentiment in the world's largest economy worsened sharply in early August, falling to the lowest level in more than three decades. U.S. economic growth was anemic in the first half of the year.
"The volume of negative news and the unsettling impact on equity markets is having a significant effect on already fragile consumer mindset," CEO Robert Niblock said on a conference call. "Consumers continue to focus on small ticket, less than $500, repair and maintenance items and projects."
Lowe's sales rose 1.3 percent, to $14.54 billion, in the second quarter, missing analysts' estimate of $14.75 billion.
"Despite some recovery in our seasonal business, our performance for the quarter fell short of our expectations," Niblock said.
Sales at stores open at least a year fell 0.3 percent. JP Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers was expecting same-store sales at Lowe's to stay flat.