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Lowe's closing 20 stores in other states

NEW YORK (AP) — Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. said Monday it will close 20 underperforming stores in 15 states and cut 1,950 jobs in order to focus on more profitable locations.
Ten locations were closed Sunday; the other 10 will close in a month. They include three closings in New Hampshire and two each in California, Illinois and Maine.
Before the closures, Lowe’s operated 1,725 stores.
Lowe’s, based in Mooresville, N.C., also said it will only open 10 to 15 stores in North America annually beginning in 2012. Previously the company expected to open 30 stores per year. It will open 25 stores this year.
Lowe’s said the moves will cost it 17 cents to 20 cents per share in its current fiscal year.
In August, Lowe’s said volatile weather and shoppers’ worries about the economy hurt demand. Its net income was nearly flat in the second quarter and the company lowered its yearly sales forecast, saying it expected net income of $1.48 to $1.54 per share in its fiscal year ending Feb. 3.
The company’s results have been pressured as consumers continue to stick to home renovation products under $500. In August the company said it was closing 7 stores and eliminating 650 associated jobs.
Its shares rose 10 cents to close Monday at $20.89.

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