MOORESVILLE, NC —Above-average sales of millwork, kitchen cabinetry and appliances helped drive Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) net earnings up 15.6% to $624 million for the quarter ended May 2, 2014 over the year prior. Sales rose 2.4% or $315 million to $13.4 billion.

“While poor weather dampened traffic and negatively impacted performance of exterior categories, results for indoor categories were solid," said CEO Robert Niblock. Lowe's noted in an SEC filing that it is expanding its home improvement store business in Canada and Mexico, as well as in a joint venture in Australia with Woolworths.

While Lowe's reported a write-down on assets in its SEC filing, it did not mention an April 24 announcement of a $500,000 EPA penalty for not training its contractors in lead abatement procedures during remodeling.

Lowe's Millwork, Kitchen Cabinet Sales Boost Quarterly EarningsAlso during the quarter, Lowe’s and, a professional remodeler finder service, expanded its strategic partnership to the more than 1,700 Lowe’s stores.

Lowe's Atlanta-based rival The Home Depot reported similar sales results, but twice the size. First quarter  net earnings were $1.4 billion, though up about $200 million, including a one-time gain from selling equity ownership in HD Supply Holdings, Inc.

Total sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 were $19.7 billion, a 2.9% rise from the first quarter of 2013. 

"We had solid results in non-weather impacted markets and expect our sales for the year to grow in line with the guidance we previously provided," said Frank Blake, Home Depot CEO. That projection is for 4.8% growth. Lowe's forecasts 5% growth.

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