Lowe’s Cos. has reported net earnings of $1 bn and diluted earnings per share of $1.31 for the first quarter of 2019, up from earnings of $988m and diluted EPS of $1.19 for the same period last year. Sales for the quarter rose 2.2% to $17.7 bn from $17.4 bn a year ago, with comparable sales up 3.5%. Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 4.2%. The company previously announced its intention to exit its Mexico retail operations and had planned to sell the operating business. Following a market evaluation, however, the decision was made in the first quarter to instead sell the assets of the business, resulting in an $82m tax benefit.
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