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Lowe's Reports First Quarter Sales and Earnings Results
-- Record First Quarter Sales of $14.1 Billion --
-- Diluted Earnings Per Share Increased 14.8 Percent --

MOORESVILLE, N.C., May 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) today reported net earnings of $673 million for the quarter ended May 1, 2015, a 7.8 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share increased 14.8 percent to $0.70 from $0.61 in the first quarter of 2014.

Lowe's Companies, Inc. Logo.

Sales for the first quarter increased 5.4 percent to $14.1 billion from $13.4 billion in the first quarter of 2014, and comparable sales for the quarter increased 5.2 percent.  Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 5.3 percent. 

"I am pleased that we executed well and delivered another strong quarter," commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO.  "We generated comparable sales growth in all regions of the country and across all product categories, driving strong earnings per share growth.  I would like to thank our employees for their dedication to serving customers."

Delivering on its commitment to return excess cash to shareholders, the company repurchased $1.0 billion of stock under its share repurchase program and paid $222 million in dividends in the first quarter. 

As of May 1, 2015, Lowe's operated 1,843 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 201.2 million square feet of retail selling space.

A conference call to discuss first quarter 2015 operating results is scheduled for today (Wednesday, May 20) at 9:00 am ET.  The conference call will be available by webcast and can be accessed by visiting Lowe's website at www.Lowes.com/investor and clicking on Lowe's First Quarter 2015 Earnings Conference Call Webcast.  Supplemental slides will be available soon after this news release. A replay of the call will be archived on Lowes.com/investor until August 18, 2015.

Lowe's Business Outlook

Fiscal Year 2015 (comparisons to fiscal year 2014; based on U.S. GAAP unless otherwise noted) 

  • Total sales are expected to increase 4.5 to 5 percent.
  • Comparable sales are expected to increase 4 to 4.5 percent.
  • The company expects to open 15 to 20 home improvement and hardware stores.
  • Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) are expected to increase 80 to 100 basis points.
  • The effective income tax rate is expected to be approximately 38.1%.
  • Diluted earnings per share of approximately $3.29 are expected for the fiscal year ending January 29, 2016.  

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"), which the words "believe", "expect", "project", "will", "should", "could", and similar expressions are intended to imply. Statements of the company's expectations for sales growth, comparable sales, earnings and performance, shareholder value, capital expenditures, cash flows, the housing market, the home improvement industry, demand for services, share repurchases, the Company's strategic initiatives and any statement of an assumption underlying any of the foregoing, constitute "forward-looking statements" under the Act.   Although we believe that the expectations, opinions, projections, and comments reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we 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 either expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, changes in general economic conditions, such as the  rate of unemployment, interest rate and currency fluctuations, fuel and other energy costs, slower growth in personal income, changes in consumer spending, changes in the rate of housing turnover, the availability of consumer credit and 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, such as a demographic shift from single family to multi-family housing, a reduced rate of growth in household formation, and  slower rates of growth in housing renovation and repair activity, as well as uneven recovery in commercial building activity; (ii) secure, develop, and otherwise implement new technologies and processes necessary to realize the benefits of our strategic initiatives and  enhance our efficiency; (iii) attract, train, and retain highly-qualified associates; (iv) manage our business effectively as we adapt our traditional operating model to meet the changing expectations of our customers; (v) maintain, improve, upgrade and protect our critical information systems from data security breaches and other cyber threats; (vi) respond to fluctuations in the prices and availability of services, supplies, and products; (vii) respond to the growth and impact of competition; (viii) address changes in existing or new laws or regulations that affect consumer credit, employment/labor, trade, product safety, transportation/logistics, energy costs, health care, tax or environmental issues; and (ix) 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 (the "SEC") and the description of material changes therein or updated version thereof, if any, included in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon data available as of the date of this release or other specified date and speak only as of such date.  All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf about any of the matters covered in this release are qualified by these cautionary statements and the "Risk Factors" included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K to the SEC and the description of material changes, if any, therein included in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.  We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, change in circumstances, future events, or otherwise.

 

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company serving approximately 16 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico through its stores and online at lowes.com, lowes.ca and lowes.com.mx.  With fiscal year 2014 sales of $56.2 billion, Lowe's has more than 1,840 home improvement and hardware stores and 265,000 employees.  Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

 

Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Consolidated Statements of Current and Retained Earnings (Unaudited)

In Millions, Except Per Share and Percentage Data








Three months ended




May 1, 2015



May 2, 2014

Current Earnings



 Amount 

% Sales



 Amount 

% Sales

Net sales


$

14,129

100.00


$

13,403

100.00










Cost of sales



9,117

64.53



8,645

64.50










Gross margin



5,012

35.47



4,758

35.50










Expenses:


















Selling, general and administrative



3,415

24.16



3,319

24.76










Depreciation



365

2.59



373

2.78










Interest - net



134

0.95



124

0.93










Total expenses



3,914

27.70



3,816

28.47










Pre-tax earnings 



1,098

7.77



942

7.03










Income tax provision 



425

3.01



318

2.37










Net earnings


$

673

4.76


$

624

4.66



















Weighted average common shares outstanding - basic



950




1,015











Basic earnings per common share (1)


$

0.70



$

0.61











Weighted average common shares outstanding - diluted



952




1,017











Diluted earnings per common share (1)


$

0.70



$

0.61











Cash dividends per share


$

0.23



$

0.18




















Retained Earnings









Balance at beginning of period


$

9,591



$

11,355


Net earnings 



673




624


Cash dividends



(218)




(183)


Share repurchases



(961)




(811)


Balance at end of period


$

9,085



$

10,985




















(1) Under the two-class method, earnings per share is calculated using net earnings allocable to common shares, which is derived by reducing net earnings by the earnings allocable to participating securities. Net earnings allocable to common shares used in the basic and diluted earnings per share calculation were $670 million for the three months ended May 1, 2015 and $620 million for the three months ended May 2, 2014.

 

Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Unaudited)

In Millions, Except Percentage Data













Three months ended




May 1, 2015



May 2, 2014




 Amount 

% Sales



 Amount 

% Sales

Net earnings


$

673

4.76


$

624

4.66










Foreign currency translation adjustments - net of tax



22

0.16



8

0.06










Other comprehensive income



22

0.16



8

0.06










Comprehensive income


$

695

4.92


$

632

4.72










 

 

Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

In Millions, Except Par Value Data














 (Unaudited) 



 (Unaudited) 







May 1, 2015



May 2, 2014



January 30, 2015

Assets




















     Current assets:










     Cash and cash equivalents


$

1,434


$

658


$

466

     Short-term investments 



95



110



125

     Merchandise inventory - net



10,614



10,515



8,911

     Deferred income taxes - net 



255



283



230

     Other current assets



393



386



348











     Total current assets



12,791



11,952



10,080











     Property, less accumulated depreciation  



19,892



20,617



20,034

     Long-term investments 



384



360



354

     Other assets



1,355



1,300



1,359











     Total assets


$

34,422


$

34,229


$

31,827











Liabilities and shareholders' equity




















     Current liabilities:










     Current maturities of long-term debt


$

1,026


$

47


$

552

     Accounts payable



8,023



7,051



5,124

     Accrued compensation and employee benefits 


555



501



773

     Deferred revenue



1,153



1,055



979

     Other current liabilities



2,213



2,160



1,920











     Total current liabilities



12,970



10,814



9,348











     Long-term debt, excluding current maturities 


10,334



10,080



10,815

     Deferred income taxes - net  



98



261



97

     Deferred revenue - extended protection plans


727



730



730

     Other liabilities 



816



862



869











     Total liabilities



24,945



22,747



21,859











     Shareholders' equity:










     Preferred stock - $5 par value, none issued



-



-



-

     Common stock - $.50 par value; 










Shares issued and outstanding










May 1, 2015

947









May 2, 2014

1,012









January 30, 2015

960


473



506



480

     Capital in excess of par value



-



-



-

     Retained earnings



9,085



10,985



9,591

     Accumulated other comprehensive loss



(81)



(9)



(103)











     Total shareholders' equity



9,477



11,482



9,968











     Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

34,422


$

34,229


$

31,827











 

 

 

Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)

In Millions








Three Months Ended



May 1, 2015


May 2, 2014

Cash flows from operating activities:





Net earnings 


$                      673


$                        624

Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash provided by





operating activities:





Depreciation and amortization


391


398

Deferred income taxes


(38)


(67)

Loss on property and other assets - net


7


24

Loss on equity method investments


17


17

Share-based payment expense


29


28

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:





Merchandise inventory - net


(1,687)


(1,384)

Other operating assets


(48)


44

Accounts payable 


2,893


2,041

Other operating liabilities


241


269

Net cash provided by operating activities


2,478


1,994






Cash flows from investing activities:





Purchases of investments


(65)


(163)

Proceeds from sale/maturity of investments


64


157

Capital expenditures


(232)


(194)

Contributions to equity method investments - net


(11)


(91)

Proceeds from sale of property and other long-term assets


3


16

Other - net


-


(5)

Net cash used in investing activities


(241)


(280)






Cash flows from financing activities:





Net decrease in short-term borrowings


-


(386)

Repayment of long-term debt


(10)


(12)

Proceeds from issuance of common stock under
   share-based payment plans


21


24

Cash dividend payments


(222)


(186)

Repurchase of common stock


(1,109)


(910)

Other - net


50


23

Net cash used in financing activities


(1,270)


(1,447)






Effect of exchange rate changes on cash


1


-






Net increase in cash and cash equivalents


968


267

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period


466


391

Cash and cash equivalents, end of period


$                  1,434


$                       658






 

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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lowes-reports-first-quarter-sales-and-earnings-results-300086011.html

SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Shareholders'/Analysts' Inquiries: Tiffany Mason, 704-758-2033, tiffany.l.mason@lowes.com; Media Inquiries: Chris Ahearn, 704-758-2304, chris.c.ahearn@lowes.com