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|Lowe's Reports Second Quarter Sales and Earnings Results|
MOORESVILLE, N.C., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), the world's second largest home improvement retailer, today reported net earnings of $938 million for the quarter ended August 1, 2008, a 7.9 percent decline from the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share declined 4.5 percent to $0.64 from $0.67 in the second quarter of 2007. For the six months ended August 1, 2008, net earnings declined 12.1 percent to $1.54 billion while diluted earnings per share declined 8.7 percent to $1.05.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031205/LOWLOGO )
Sales for the quarter increased 2.4 percent to $14.5 billion, up from $14.2 billion in the second quarter of 2007. For the six months ended August 1, 2008, sales increased 0.7 percent to $26.5 billion. Comparable store sales for the second quarter declined 5.3 percent and declined 6.7 percent in the first half of 2008.
"Our sales results for the quarter, while better than our forecast, reflect the realities of the continuing macro economic pressures on our industry," commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman and CEO. "We saw relative strength in our seasonal sales as homeowners welcomed back spring and restored lawns and outdoor landscaping following the effects of last year's drought in much of the country. In addition, we believe our second quarter sales benefited from the economic impact of the fiscal stimulus tax rebates. Unfortunately, weakness in bigger ticket projects continues, particularly in markets most impacted by the housing downturn.
"Through disciplined expense controls we delivered solid earnings for the quarter," Niblock added. "We are encouraged by our results and our continued market share gains, but the macro economic factors pressuring consumers and the ongoing challenges and uncertainty of the financial markets suggest a cautious sales forecast for the balance of fiscal 2008 is prudent. We remain focused on positioning the company for long-term success while managing through the near-term challenges of the current environment."
During the quarter, Lowe's opened 23 new stores. As of August 1, 2008, Lowe's operated 1,577 stores in the United States and Canada representing 178.6 million square feet of retail selling space, a 10.5 percent increase over last year.
A conference call to discuss second quarter 2008 operating results is scheduled for today (Monday, August 18) at 9:00 am EDT. Please dial 888-817-4020 (international callers dial 706-679-8762) to participate. A webcast of the call will take place simultaneously and can be accessed by visiting Lowe's website at www.Lowes.com/investor and clicking on Lowe's Second Quarter 2008 Earnings Conference Call Webcast. A replay of the call will be archived on www.Lowes.com until November 16, 2008.
Lowe's Business Outlook Third Quarter 2008 (comparisons to third quarter 2007) -- The company expects to open approximately 38 new stores reflecting square footage growth of approximately 10 percent -- Total sales are expected to increase 1 to 2 percent -- The company expects comparable store sales to decline 5 to 7 percent -- Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) is expected to decline approximately 290 basis points driven by the cycling of last year's $112 million reduction in self-insurance reserves for workers compensation and general liability claims in addition to payroll, fixed cost and depreciation deleverage -- Store opening costs are expected to be approximately $34 million -- Diluted earnings per share of $0.27 to $0.31 are expected -- Lowe's third quarter ends on October 31, 2008 with operating results to be publicly released on Monday, November 17, 2008 Fiscal Year 2008 (comparisons to fiscal year 2007) -- The company expects to open approximately 120 stores in 2008 reflecting total square footage growth of 7 to 8 percent -- Total sales are expected to increase approximately 1 percent -- The company expects comparable store sales to decline 6 to 7 percent -- Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) is expected to decline approximately 180 basis points -- Store opening costs are expected to be approximately $97 million -- Diluted earnings per share of $1.48 to $1.56 are expected for the fiscal year ending January 30, 2009 Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). Statements of the company's expectations for sales growth, comparable store sales, earnings and performance, capital expenditures, store openings, the housing market, the home improvement industry, demand for services, and any statement of an assumption underlying any of the foregoing, constitute "forward-looking statements" under the Act. Although the company believes that the expectations, opinions, projections, and comments reflected in its forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such statements will prove to be correct. A wide-variety of potential risks, uncertainties, and other factors could materially affect our ability to achieve the results expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, changes in general economic conditions, such as interest rate and currency fluctuations, higher fuel and other energy costs, slower growth in personal income and consumer spending, declining housing turnover, the availability of mortgage financing, inflation or deflation of commodity prices and other factors which can negatively affect our customers, as well as our ability to: (i) respond to adverse trends in the housing industry and the level of repairs, remodeling, and additions to existing homes, as well as general reduction in commercial building activity; (ii) secure, develop, and otherwise implement new technologies and processes designed to enhance our efficiency and competitiveness; (iii) attract, train, and retain highly-qualified associates; (iv) locate, secure, and successfully develop new sites for store development particularly in major metropolitan markets; (v) respond to fluctuations in the prices and availability of services, supplies, and products; (vi) respond to the growth and impact of competition; (vii) address legal and regulatory developments; and (viii) respond to unanticipated weather conditions that could adversely affect sales. For more information about these and other risks and uncertainties that we are exposed to, you should read the "Risk Factors" included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the description of material changes, if any, in those "Risk Factors" included in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release speak only as of the date of this release and the company does not assume any obligation to update any such statements.
With fiscal year 2007 sales of $48.3 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE(R) 50 company that serves approximately 14 million customers a week at more than 1,575 home improvement stores in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit www.Lowes.com .
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Consolidated Statements of Current and Retained Earnings (Unaudited) In Millions, Except Per Share Data Three Months Ended August 1, 2008 August 3, 2007 Current Earnings Amount Percent Amount Percent Net sales $14,509 100.00 $14,167 100.00 Cost of sales 9,527 65.66 9,284 65.53 Gross margin 4,982 34.34 4,883 34.47 Expenses: Selling, general and administrative 3,014 20.78 2,839 20.04 Store opening costs 21 0.14 26 0.18 Depreciation 381 2.63 332 2.35 Interest - net 69 0.47 50 0.35 Total expenses 3,485 24.02 3,247 22.92 Pre-tax earnings 1,497 10.32 1,636 11.55 Income tax provision 559 3.86 617 4.36 Net earnings $938 6.46 $1,019 7.19 Weighted average shares outstanding - basic 1,455 1,490 Basic earnings per share $0.64 $0.68 Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted 1,473 1,518 Diluted earnings per share $0.64 $0.67 Cash dividends per share $0.085 $0.080 Retained Earnings Balance at beginning of period $15,835 $14,968 Cumulative effect adjustment(1) - - Net earnings 938 1,019 Cash dividends (125) (119) Share repurchases - (658) Balance at end of period $16,648 $15,210 Six Months Ended August 1, 2008 August 3, 2007 Current Earnings Amount Percent Amount Percent Net sales $26,519 100.00 $26,338 100.00 Cost of sales 17,371 65.50 17,195 65.29 Gross margin 9,148 34.50 9,143 34.71 Expenses: Selling, general and administrative 5,738 21.65 5,524 20.97 Store opening costs 38 0.14 38 0.14 Depreciation 757 2.85 656 2.49 Interest - net 145 0.55 97 0.37 Total expenses 6,678 25.19 6,315 23.97 Pre-tax earnings 2,470 9.31 2,828 10.74 Income tax provision 925 3.49 1,070 4.07 Net earnings $1,545 5.82 $1,758 6.67 Weighted average shares outstanding - basic 1,454 1,500 Basic earnings per share $1.06 $1.17 Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted 1,477 1,530 Diluted earnings per share $1.05 $1.15 Cash dividends per share $0.165 $0.130 Retained Earnings Balance at beginning of period $15,345 $14,860 Cumulative effect adjustment(1) - (8) Net earnings 1,545 1,758 Cash dividends (242) (194) Share repurchases - (1,206) Balance at end of period $16,648 $15,210 (1) The Company adopted FIN 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, effective February 3, 2007. Lowe's Companies, Inc. Consolidated Balance Sheets In Millions, Except Par Value Data (Unaudited) (Unaudited) August 1, August 3, February 1, 2008 2007 2008 Assets Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents $477 $337 $281 Short-term investments (includes $39 million of trading securities at August 1, 2008) 377 325 249 Merchandise inventory - net 7,939 7,799 7,611 Deferred income taxes - net 275 209 247 Other current assets 236 181 298 Total current assets 9,304 8,851 8,686 Property, less accumulated depreciation 22,066 19,825 21,361 Long-term investments 798 627 509 Other assets 381 341 313 Total assets $32,549 $29,644 $30,869 Liabilities and shareholders' equity Current liabilities: Short-term borrowings $189 $555 $1,064 Current maturities of long-term debt 31 85 40 Accounts payable 4,786 4,167 3,713 Accrued compensation and employee benefits 492 414 467 Self-insurance liabilities 736 726 671 Deferred revenue 816 819 717 Other current liabilities 1,478 1,274 1,079 Total current liabilities 8,528 8,040 7,751 Long-term debt, excluding current maturities 5,050 4,301 5,576 Deferred income taxes - net 641 628 670 Other liabilities 824 706 774 Total liabilities 15,043 13,675 14,771 Shareholders' equity: Preferred stock - $5 par value, none issued - - - Common stock - $.50 par value; Shares issued and outstanding August 1, 2008 1,464 August 3, 2007 1,485 February 1, 2008 1,458 732 742 729 Capital in excess of par value 118 11 16 Retained earnings 16,648 15,210 15,345 Accumulated other comprehensive income 8 6 8 Total shareholders' equity 17,506 15,969 16,098 Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $32,549 $29,644 $30,869 Lowe's Companies, Inc. Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited) In Millions Six Months Ended August 1, 2008 August 3, 2007 Cash flows from operating activities: Net earnings $1,545 $1,758 Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash provided by operating activities: Depreciation and amortization 816 701 Deferred income taxes (57) 3 Loss on property and other assets 30 17 Loss on redemption of long-term debt 8 - Share-based payment expense 54 45 Changes in operating assets and liabilities: Merchandise inventory - net (328) (655) Other operating assets 52 56 Accounts payable 1,073 643 Other operating liabilities 675 510 Net cash provided by operating activities 3,868 3,078 Cash flows from investing activities: Purchases of short-term investments (467) (368) Proceeds from sale/maturity of short- term investments 245 524 Purchases of long-term investments (723) (1,102) Proceeds from sale/maturity of long- term investments 520 589 Increase in other long-term assets (37) (23) Property acquired (1,620) (1,698) Proceeds from the sale of property and other long-term assets 20 26 Net cash used in investing activities (2,062) (2,052) Cash flows from financing activities: Net (decrease) increase in short-term borrowings (873) 532 Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt 11 4 Repayment of long-term debt (555) (31) Proceeds from issuance of common stock under employee stock purchase plan 39 40 Proceeds from issuance of common stock from stock options exercised 11 43 Cash dividend payments (242) (194) Repurchase of common stock (2) (1,450) Excess tax benefits of share-based payments 1 3 Net cash used in financing activities (1,610) (1,053) Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 196 (27) Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 281 364 Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $477 $337
SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc. -0- 08/18/2008 /CONTACT: Shareholders'-Analysts' Inquiries: Robbin Moore-Randolph, +1-704-758-3579, Media: Chris Ahearn, +1-704-758-2304, both of Lowe's Companies, Inc./ /Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031205/LOWLOGO AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org PRN Photo Desk, email@example.com/ /Web site: http://www.lowes.com http://www.Lowes.com/investor / (LOW) CO: Lowe's Companies, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: REA HOU SU: ERN ERP CCA EG-JT -- CLM013 -- 0361 08/18/2008 07:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com