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Earnings Preview: Lowe's Cos.

NEW YORK (AP) -- When home-improvement chain Lowe's Cos. reports its fiscal first-quarter earnings result before the market opens Wednesday, analysts will be interested in seeing if the housing market recovery offset a cool, wet start to the spring season. Analysts expect higher revenue and net income from the No. 2 home improvement retailer.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The housing market has been slowly improving, with home sales and prices rising. Home improvement retailers such as Lowe's are expected to benefit. Home Depot reported on Tuesday that the housing market improvement helped lift its first quarter profit 18 percent.

Meanwhile, investors will be looking for an update on how Lowe's revamped pricing strategy is faring. The chain has returned to offering what it says are permanent low prices on many items across the store instead of fleeting discounts.

In addition, the chain is likely to benefit from sales related to Hurricane Sandy recovery.

WHY IT MATTERS: Strong sales would be another sign that the housing market is solidly on the upswing.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts expect earnings of 51 cents per share on revenue of $13.45 billion, according to FactSet.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: The Mooresville, N.C., company reported net income of 34 cents per share on revenue of $12.19 billion.