Business briefs: Lowe’s profits drop

Profit at Lowe’s Cos. (LOW) fell 12.1 percent in the first quarter, disappointing analysts’ expectations and depressing shares of the country’s second-largest home improvement retailer. The Mooresville, N.C.-based company said mixed weather and a continued housing slump hurt sales. Rival Home Depot Inc. (HD) said last week its first-quarter income dropped 29.5 percent.

Jeffrey Kindler

The new chief executive of the world’s largest drug maker, Pfizer Inc. (PFE), cleaned house by announcing that Research and Development President John LaMattina and Chief Financial Officer Alan Levin will soon leave. The company is cutting 10,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its work force, as it tries to boost profits with tepid sales anticipated soon.

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