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Lowe's Reports Record Second Quarter Earnings
            -- Second Quarter Total Sales Increased 17.3 Percent -

      -- Second Quarter Comparable Store Sales Increased 6.5 Percent --

MOORESVILLE, N.C., Aug. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), the world's second largest home improvement retailer, today reported net earnings of $838 million for the quarter ended July 29, 2005, a 19.7 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share increased 20.7 percent to $1.05 from $0.87 in the second quarter of 2004. For the six months ended July 29, 2005, net earnings grew 24.0 percent to $1.43 billion while diluted earnings per share increased 24.5 percent to $1.78.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031205/LOWLOGO )

Sales for the quarter increased 17.3 percent to $11.9 billion, up from $10.2 billion in the second quarter of 2004. Comparable store sales for the second quarter increased 6.5 percent. For the six months ended July 29, 2005, sales increased 15.9 percent to $21.8 billion. Comparable store sales increased 5.2 percent in the first half of 2005.

"Building on the strong sales trends we experienced in April, our stores delivered solid comparable store sales across all three months of the quarter," explained Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO. "Comp sales above our original guidance were driven by our Big 3 sales initiatives of Installed Sales, Special Order Sales and sales to Commercial Business Customers, all of which remain core to our performance. Successful traffic-driving marketing campaigns, in conjunction with great merchandising and store execution, led to comparable store increases in both average ticket and transaction counts in the quarter."

"Favorable social and demographic trends, a robust housing market and an unwavering organizational commitment to provide unmatched service and solutions for our customers continue to give us confidence in the future for Lowe's," Niblock added. "We remain committed to invest in all areas of our business with well-trained employees, industry-leading stores and state-of- the-art systems to ensure we execute our vision to be the first choice for home improvement in each and every market we serve."

During the quarter, Lowe's opened 27 new stores including one relocation. As of July 29, 2005, Lowe's operated 1,138 stores in 49 states representing 129.4 million square feet of retail selling space, a 13.7 percent increase over last year.

A conference call to discuss second quarter 2005 operating results is scheduled for today (Monday, August 15) at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Please dial 888- 817-4020 (international callers dial 706-679-3245) 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 2005 Earnings Conference Call Webcast. A replay of the call will be archived on Lowes.com until November 13, 2005.

    Lowe's Business Outlook

    Third Quarter 2005 (comparisons to third quarter 2004)
     - The company expects to open 34 stores reflecting square footage growth
       of approximately 13 percent
     - Total sales are expected to increase approximately 16 percent
     - The company expects to report a comparable store sales increase of
       4 to 6 percent
     - Operating margin (defined as gross margin less SG&A and depreciation)
       is expected to increase approximately 10 basis points
     - Store opening costs are expected to be approximately $36 million
     - Diluted earnings per share of $0.76 to $0.78 are expected
     - Lowe's third quarter ends on October 28, 2005 with operating results to
       be publicly released on Monday, November 14, 2005

Fiscal Year 2005 - a 53-week Year (comparisons to fiscal year 2004 - a 52-week year)

     - The company expects to open 150 stores in 2005 reflecting total
       square footage growth of approximately 13 percent
     - Total sales are expected to increase approximately 17 percent for the
       year
     - The company expects to report a comparable store sales increase of
       approximately 5 percent
     - Operating margin (defined as gross margin less SG&A and depreciation)
       is expected to increase 20 to 30 basis points
     - Store opening costs are expected to be approximately $132 million
     - Diluted earnings per share of $3.31 to $3.37 are expected for the
       fiscal year ending February 3, 2006

    Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning 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, 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: (i) changes in general economic conditions which can negatively affect our customers' spending patterns; (ii) decreases in the number of new housing starts and the level of repairs, remodeling, and additions to existing homes, as well as general reduction in commercial building activity; (iii) ability to secure, develop, and otherwise implement new technologies and processes designed to enhance our efficiency and competitiveness; (iv) ability to attract, train, and retain highly-qualified associates; (v) ability to locate, secure, and develop new sites for store development; (vi) fluctuations in the prices and availability of services, supplies, and products; (vii) growth and impact of competition; (viii) ability to address legal and regulatory matters; and (ix) impact of unanticipated weather conditions. Additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties are provided in our periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 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 2004 sales of $36.5 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE(R) 50 company that serves approximately 11 million customers a week at more than 1,125 home improvement stores in 49 states. Based in Mooresville, N.C., the 59-year old company is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.



    Lowe's Companies, Inc.
    Consolidated Statements of Current and Retained Earnings (Unaudited)
    In Millions, Except Per Share Data

                                                 Three Months Ended
                                                             July 30, 2004
                                            July 29, 2005     As Restated
    Current Earnings                       Amount  Percent  Amount  Percent

    Net sales                             $11,929  100.00  $10,169  100.00

    Cost of sales                           7,892   66.16    6,780   66.68

    Gross margin                            4,037   33.84    3,389   33.32

    Expenses:

    Selling, general and administrative     2,363   19.81    1,969   19.36

    Store opening costs                        25    0.21       18    0.17

    Depreciation                              247    2.07      221    2.18

    Interest                                   39    0.33       45    0.44

    Total expenses                          2,674   22.42    2,253   22.15

    Pre-tax earnings                        1,363   11.42    1,136   11.17

    Income tax provision                      525    4.40      436    4.29

    Net earnings                             $838    7.02     $700    6.88


    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     Basic                                    774              776

    Basic earnings per share                $1.08            $0.90

    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     Diluted                                  803              806

    Diluted earnings per share              $1.05            $0.87

    Cash dividends per share                $0.06            $0.04

    Retained Earnings
    Balance at beginning of period        $10,193           $8,002
    Net earnings                              838              700
    Cash dividends                            (47)             (30)
    Balance at end of period              $10,984           $8,672



    Lowe's Companies, Inc.
    Consolidated Statements of Current and Retained Earnings (Unaudited)
    In Millions, Except Per Share Data

                                                  Six Months Ended
                                                             July 30, 2004
                                            July 29, 2005     As Restated
    Current Earnings                       Amount  Percent  Amount  Percent

    Net sales                             $21,842  100.00  $18,850  100.00

    Cost of sales                          14,390   65.89   12,591   66.80

    Gross margin                            7,452   34.11    6,259   33.20

    Expenses:

    Selling, general and administrative     4,499   20.60    3,822   20.28

    Store opening costs                        50    0.23       40    0.21

    Depreciation                              495    2.26      434    2.30

    Interest                                   86    0.39       93    0.49

    Total expenses                          5,130   23.48    4,389   23.28

    Pre-tax earnings                        2,322   10.63    1,870    9.92

    Income tax provision                      894    4.09      718    3.81

    Net earnings                           $1,428    6.54   $1,152    6.11

    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     Basic                                    774              781

    Basic earnings per share                $1.84            $1.47

    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     Diluted                                  804              812

    Diluted earnings per share              $1.78            $1.43

    Cash dividends per share                $0.10            $0.07

    Retained Earnings
    Balance at beginning of period         $9,634           $7,574
    Net earnings                            1,428            1,152
    Cash dividends                            (78)             (54)
    Balance at end of period              $10,984           $8,672



    Lowe's Companies, Inc.
    Consolidated Balance Sheets
    In Millions, Except Par Value Data

                                        (Unaudited)  (Unaudited)
                                          July 29,  July 30, 2004  January 28,
                                            2005     As Restated       2005
    Assets

       Current assets:
         Cash and cash equivalents         $1,112         $696         $642
         Short-term investments               307          335          171
         Accounts receivable - net             19           41            9
         Merchandise inventory - net        6,340        5,286        5,982
         Deferred income taxes                 95           82           95
         Other assets                          94           62           75

         Total current assets               7,967        6,502        6,974

         Property, less accumulated
          depreciation                     14,782       12,722       13,911
         Long-term investments                190          155          146
         Other assets                         198          217          178

         Total assets                     $23,137      $19,596      $21,209

    Liabilities and shareholders' equity

       Current liabilities:
         Current maturities of long-term
          debt                               $632          $34        $630
         Accounts payable                   2,981        2,452       2,687
         Accrued salaries and wages           329          250         386
         Other current liabilities          2,357        1,995       2,016

         Total current liabilities          6,299        4,731       5,719

         Long-term debt, excluding
          current maturities                2,810        3,664       3,060
         Deferred income taxes                691          656         736
         Other long-term liabilities          252          103         159

         Total liabilities                 10,052        9,154       9,674

       Shareholders' equity:
         Preferred stock - $5 par value,
          none issued                           -            -           -
         Common stock - $.50 par value;
          Shares issued and outstanding
          July 29, 2005         780
          July 30, 2004         772
          January 28, 2005      774           390          386         387
         Capital in excess of par           1,710        1,385       1,514
         Retained earnings                 10,984        8,672       9,634
         Accumulated other comprehensive
          income (loss)                         1           (1)          -

         Total shareholders' equity        13,085       10,442      11,535

         Total liabilities and
          shareholders' equity            $23,137      $19,596     $21,209



    Lowe's Companies, Inc.
    Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)
    In Millions
                                                     Six Months Ended
                                                                July 30, 2004
                                               July 29, 2005      As Restated
    Cash Flows From Operating Activities:
      Net earnings                                   $1,428            $1,152
        Adjustments to reconcile net earnings
         to net cash provided by
         operating activities:
         Depreciation and amortization                  505               443
         Deferred income taxes                          (45)               42
         Loss on disposition/writedown of
          fixed and other assets                         17                21
         Stock-based compensation expense                38                36
         Tax effect of stock options exercised           40                12
         Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
           Accounts receivable - net                    (10)              105
           Merchandise inventory - net                 (358)             (702)
           Other operating assets                       (19)               44
           Accounts payable                             294               240
           Other operating liabilities                  336               324
      Net cash provided by operating
       activities                                     2,226             1,717

    Cash flows from investing activities:
      (Increase) decrease in short-term
       investments                                      (55)              460
      Purchases of long-term investments               (132)              (78)
      Proceeds from sale/maturity of long-
       term investments                                   8                 6
      Increase in other long-term assets                (35)              (17)
      Fixed assets acquired                          (1,365)           (1,320)
      Proceeds from the sale of fixed and
       other long-term assets                            37                53
      Net cash used in investing activities          (1,542)             (896)

    Cash flows from financing activities:
      Repayment of long-term debt                       (16)              (60)
      Proceeds from employee stock purchase plan         32                30
      Proceeds from stock options exercised             147                46
      Cash dividend payments                            (78)              (54)
      Repurchase of common stock                       (299)           (1,000)
      Net cash used in financing activities            (214)           (1,038)

    Net increase (decrease) in cash and
     cash equivalents                                   470              (217)
    Cash and cash equivalents, beginning
     of period                                          642               913
    Cash and cash equivalents, end of   period       $1,112              $696
SOURCE  Lowe's Companies, Inc.
    -0-                             08/15/2005
    /CONTACT:  Shareholders' - Analysts' Inquiries, Paul Taaffe,
+1-704-758-2033, or 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, photodesk@prnewswire.com/
    /Web site:  http://www.lowes.com/
    (LOW)

CO:  Lowe's Companies, Inc.
ST:  North Carolina
IN:  REA CST
SU:  ERN CCA ERP

DL-MH
-- CLM016 --
1697 08/15/2005 07:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com