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Earnings Preview: Lowe's to report third quarter

NEW YORK (AP) -- When home-improvement chain Lowe's Cos. reports its third-quarter results before the market opens Wednesday, analysts will be looking to see whether rising mortgage rates and a more subdued housing market dampened sales.

Analysts expect higher revenue and net income from the No. 2 home-improvement retailer.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Lowe's and other retailers have benefited from the slowly improving housing market. Data provider CoreLogic this month said that a measure of U.S. home prices rose only slightly in September from August, a sign that prices are leveling off after big gains earlier this year.

Analysts will be looking for signs that spending on homes remains elevated. They will also be looking for an update on Lowe's $205 million acquisition of Orchard Supply Hardware Stores, which was completed during the quarter.

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, instead of fleeting discounts.

WHY IT MATTERS: Strong sales would be another sign that Americans are feeling better about the economy and the housing market.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts expect earnings of 48 cents per share on revenue of $12.73 billion, according to FactSet.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: The Mooresville, N.C., company reported net income of 40 cents per share, excluding one-time items, on revenue of $12.07 billion.