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|Lowe's Reports Third Quarter Sales and Earnings Results|
|MOORESVILLE, N.C., Nov 16, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), the world's second largest home
improvement retailer, today reported net earnings of $344 million for
the quarter ended October 30, 2009, a 29.5 percent decline from the same
period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share declined 30.3 percent to
$0.23 from $0.33 in the third quarter of 2008. For the nine months ended
October 30, 2009, net earnings declined 22.4 percent to $1.58 billion
while diluted earnings per share declined 22.5 percent to $1.07.
Following an evaluation of the expected performance of certain locations, the company has determined the need to reduce the carrying value of assets for three operating stores and to recognize a charge related to the pipeline of potential future store sites it no longer intends to pursue. In addition, as previously announced, the company closed its central Milwaukee location on September 20. Primarily as a result of these items, the company recognized a pre-tax charge of $57 million, or approximately two cents per share ($0.02), in the quarter. Also, the effective tax rate was favorably impacted during the quarter by the settlement of certain state tax issues, which positively impacted earnings per share by approximately one cent ($0.01).
Sales for the quarter declined 3.0 percent to $11.4 billion, down from $11.7 billion in the third quarter of 2008. For the nine months ended October 30, 2009, sales declined 3.1 percent to $37.1 billion. Comparable store sales for the third quarter declined 7.5 percent and declined 8.0 percent in the first nine months of 2009.
"The broad-based pressures of the macro environment are clearly evident in our sales as consumers continue to delay large purchases until they feel better about the economic outlook," commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman and CEO. "While consumer spending remained weak, we were pleased with our sequential improvement in comparable store sales from the second quarter and continued evidence of solid market share gains. Those gains, combined with sound execution, led to earnings within our guidance for the quarter.
"We are beginning to see signs of improved performance in some of the hardest-hit housing markets including California, Florida and areas of the desert Southwest," Niblock added. "As the economy and the housing market continue through the bottoming and recovery process, we know there will be ongoing macroeconomic challenges, including declining home values and rising unemployment. However, we are encouraged by the signs of stabilization in our business and remain confident we are well positioned to capture additional market share."
During the quarter, Lowe's opened 12 stores and closed one store. As of October 30, 2009, Lowe's operated 1,699 stores in the United States and Canada representing 191.9 million square feet of retail selling space, a 4.9 percent increase over last year. A conference call to discuss third quarter 2009 operating results is scheduled for today (Monday, November 16) at 9:00 am EST. Please dial 888-817-4020 (international callers dial 706-679-4821) 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 Third Quarter 2009 Earnings Conference Call Webcast. A replay of the call will be archived on Lowes.com until February 21, 2010.
Lowe's Business Outlook
Fourth Quarter 2009 (comparisons to fourth quarter 2008)
Fiscal Year 2009 (comparisons to fiscal year 2008)
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 rising unemployment, interest rate and currency fluctuations, higher fuel and other energy costs, slower growth in personal income, changes in consumer spending, the availability and increasing regulation of consumer credit and mortgage financing, changes in the rate of housing turnover, 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 legislative and regulatory developments; and (viii) respond to unanticipated weather conditions that could adversely affect sales. In addition, we could experience additional impairment losses if the actual results of our operating stores are not consistent with the assumptions and judgments we have made in estimating future cash flows and determining asset fair values. For more information about these and other risks and uncertainties that we are exposed to, you should read the "Risk Factors" and "Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" 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, therein 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 2008 sales of $48.2 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE(R) 50 company that serves approximately 14 million customers a week at more than 1,675 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 Lowes.com.
SOURCE: Lowe's Companies, Inc.
Lowe's Companies, Inc.