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Lowe's Reports Record Sales and Earnings for the Second Quarter

Earnings Per Share Increased 22%

Sales Increased 19%

WILKESBORO, N.C., Aug. 14 -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), the world's second largest home improvement retailer, today reported diluted earnings per share of $0.73 for the quarter ended July 28, 2000, a 22 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Net earnings increased 21 percent to $279.6 million from $230.2 million in the second quarter of 1999.

For the six months ended July 28, 2000, net earnings grew 31% to $466.7 million while diluted earnings per share increased 30% to $1.21. Prior year results include a one-time charge of $0.04 per share for costs related to the merger with Eagle Hardware and Garden, Inc. ("Eagle") on April 2, 1999. Excluding the one-time charge, both net earnings and diluted earnings per share increased 25% over the same period a year ago.

Sales for the quarter increased 19 percent to $5.26 billion, up from $4.44 billion in the second quarter of 1999. Sales at the company's comparable stores increased 3.7 percent during the quarter. For the six months ended July 28, 2000, sales increased 19 percent to $9.73 billion. Comparable store sales increased 3.9 percent in the first six months of 2000.

"The reported comparable store sales performance reflects considerable disruption at the Eagle stores which are currently being re-merchandised to Lowe's format stores," commented Robert L. Tillman, Lowe's chairman and CEO.

"We continue to be pleased with the performance of the Lowe's retail stores throughout the rest of the country as their comparable sales performance exceeded six percent."

During the quarter, Lowe's opened 15 new stores and relocated 7 stores. As of July 28, 2000, Lowe's operates 604 stores in 39 states. Retail square footage grew to 60.9 million, a 19 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

Also during the quarter, Lowe's achieved a significant milestone in the appliance category, being named the nation's second largest appliance retailer. With the company's continued emphasis on large and small appliance sales, and an appliance industry shift toward the home improvement channel, Lowe's expects to increase its leadership role in this important category over the coming years.

This news release may include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. Although the company believes that comments reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Possible risks and uncertainties regarding these statements include, but are not limited to, the direction of general economic trends, the availability of real estate for expansion and its successful development, fluctuations in prices and availability of commodities, unanticipated increases in competition with home improvement chains, adverse weather conditions that affect sales, and greater than anticipated costs associated with the integration of Eagle with Lowe's.

Lowe's Companies, Inc. is the world's second largest home improvement retailer. Headquartered in Wilkesboro, N.C., Lowe's is the 15th largest retailer in the U.S. as well as the 34th largest retailer worldwide. Lowe's and its 100,000 employees are Improving Home Improvement for nearly five million do-it-yourself retail and commercial business customers each week.

                                 Lowe's Companies, Inc.
           Consolidated Statements of Current and Retained Earnings
                     In Thousands, Except Per Share Data

Quarter Ended July 28, 2000 July 30, 1999 Current Earnings Amount Percent Amount Percent

Net sales $ 5,264,252 100.00 $ 4,435,219 100.00 Cost of sales 3,812,225 72.42 3,247,933 73.23 Gross margin 1,452,027 27.58 1,187,286 26.77

Expenses: Selling, general and administrative 857,052 16.28 704,821 15.89 Store opening costs 27,852 0.53 15,465 0.35 Depreciation 98,495 1.87 81,723 1.84 Interest 26,224 0.50 22,096 0.50

Nonrecurring merger costs -- -- -- -- Total expenses 1,009,623 19.18 824,105 18.58 Pre-tax earnings 442,404 8.40 363,181 8.19 Income tax provision 162,805 3.09 132,964 3.00 Net earnings $ 279,599 5.31 $ 230,217 5.19 Shares outstanding - Basic 382,729 381,635 Basic earnings per share $ 0.73 $ 0.60 Shares outstanding - Diluted 384,370 384,311 Diluted earnings per share $ 0.73 $ 0.60

Retained Earnings Balance at beginning of period $ 2,935,756 $ 2,250,295 Net earnings 279,599 230,217 Cash dividends (13,366) (11,411) Balance at end of period $ 3,201,989 $ 2,469,101

Lowe's Companies, Inc. Consolidated Statements of Current and Retained Earnings In Thousands, Except Per Share Data

Six Months Ended July 28, 2000 July 30, 1999 Current Earnings Amount Percent Amount Percent

Net sales $ 9,731,366 100.00 $ 8,207,138 100.00 Cost of sales 7,031,223 72.25 6,012,762 73.26 Gross margin 2,700,143 27.75 2,194,376 26.74

Expenses: Selling, general and administrative 1,663,760 17.10 1,369,172 16.68 Store opening costs 53,637 0.55 33,675 0.41 Depreciation 191,983 1.97 159,643 1.95 Interest 52,237 0.54 45,403 0.55 Nonrecurring merger costs -- -- 24,378 0.30 Total expenses 1,961,617 20.16 1,632,271 19.89 Pre-tax earnings 738,526 7.59 562,105 6.85 Income tax provision 271,778 2.79 206,930 2.52 Net earnings $ 466,748 4.80 $ 355,175 4.33 Shares outstanding - Basic 382,617 380,220 Basic earnings per share $ 1.22 $ 0.93 Shares outstanding - Diluted 384,552 383,104 Diluted earnings per share $ 1.21 $ 0.93

Retained Earnings Balance at beginning of period $ 2,761,964 $ 2,136,727 Net earnings 466,748 355,175 Cash dividends (26,723) (22,801) Balance at end of period $ 3,201,989 $ 2,469,101

Lowe's Companies, Inc. Consolidated Balance Sheets In Thousands

July 28, July 30, January 28, 2000 1999 2000

Assets Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents $ 570,233 $ 973,684 $ 491,122 Short-term investments 11,272 51,366 77,670 Accounts receivable - net 183,749 181,651 147,901 Merchandise inventory 3,167,436 2,628,463 2,812,361 Deferred income taxes 59,077 40,115 53,145 Other assets 192,290 77,051 127,342

Total current assets 4,184,057 3,952,330 3,709,541

Property, less accumulated depreciation 5,932,792 4,535,999 5,177,222 Long-term investments 37,500 33,202 31,114 Other assets 94,992 119,402 94,446 Total assets $10,249,341 $ 8,640,933 $ 9,012,323

Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity Current liabilities: Short-term borrowings $ 100,000 $ 92,475 $ 92,475 Current maturities of long-term debt 41,905 118,217 59,908 Accounts payable 1,698,233 1,472,209 1,566,946 Employee retirement plans 63,347 78,350 101,946 Accrued salaries and wages 138,060 119,972 164,003 Other current liabilities 624,008 464,610 400,676

Total current liabilities 2,665,553 2,345,833 2,385,954

Long-term debt, excluding current maturities 2,217,006 1,747,142 1,726,579 Deferred income taxes 210,988 174,028 199,824 Other long-term liabilities 3,858 3,603 4,495

Total liabilities 5,097,405 4,270,606 4,316,852

Shareholders' equity: Preferred stock - $5 par value, none issued -- -- -- Common stock -- $.50 par value; Issued and Outstanding July 28, 2000 382,787 July 30, 1999 381,918 January 28, 2000 382,359 191,393 190,959 191,179 Capital in excess of par 1,766,320 1,731,544 1,755,616 Retained earnings 3,201,989 2,469,101 2,761,964 Unearned compensation -restricted stock awards (7,580) (21,204) (12,868) Accumulated other comprehensive loss (186) (73) (420) Total shareholders' equity 5,151,936 4,370,327 4,695,471 Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $10,249,341 $ 8,640,933 $ 9,012,323

Lowe's Companies, Inc. Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows In Thousands

For the Six Months Ended July 28, July 30, Periods Ended On 2000 1999 Cash Flows From Operating Activities: Net Earnings $ 466,748 $ 355,175 Adjustments to Reconcile Net Earnings to Net Cash Provided By Operating Activities: Depreciation 191,983 159,643 Amortization of Original Issue Discount 353 307 Increase (Decrease) in Deferred Income Taxes 5,106 (1,329) Loss on Disposition/Writedown of Fixed and Other Assets 15,813 37,994 Changes in Operating Assets and Liabilities: Accounts Receivable - Net (35,848) (37,723) Merchandise Inventory (355,075) (243,762) Other Operating Assets (64,829) (25,759) Accounts Payable 131,287 251,666 Employee Retirement Plans (38,667) 40,455 Other Operating Liabilities 201,644 200,241 Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities 518,515 736,908

Cash Flows from Investing Activities: (Increase) Decrease in Investment Assets: Short-Term Investments 71,045 (29,926) Purchases of Long-Term Investments (10,673) (7,713) Proceeds from Sale/Maturity of Long-Term Investments -- 1,509 Increase in Other Long-Term Assets (21,494) (32,733) Fixed Assets Acquired (974,317) (617,395) Proceeds from the Sale of Fixed and Other Long-Term Assets 31,780 21,377 Net Cash Used in Investing Activities (903,659) (664,881)

Cash Flows from Financing Activities: Net Increase (Decrease) in Short-Term Borrowings 7,525 (24,600) Long-Term Debt Borrowings 519,912 394,587 Repayment of Long-Term Debt (47,840) (36,951) Proceeds from Stock Offering -- 348,299 Proceeds from Stock Options Exercised 11,381 14,249 Cash Dividend Payments (26,723) (22,801) Net Cash Provided by Financing Activities 464,255 672,783

Net Increase in Cash and Cash Equivalents 79,111 744,810 Cash and Cash Equivalents, Beginning of Period 491,122 228,874 Cash and Cash Equivalents, End of Period $ 570,233 $ 973,684