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News Release

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Lowe's Reports Record Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Earnings
- Fourth Quarter Comparable Store Sales Increased 7.8 Percent - - Fourth Quarter Diluted Earnings Per Share Increased 35.9 Percent to $0.87 -

Feb 27, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), the world's second largest home improvement retailer, today reported net earnings of $695 million for the 14-week period ended February 3, 2006, a 36.8 percent increase over the 13-week period ended January 28, 2005. Diluted earnings per share increased 35.9 percent to $0.87 from $0.64 in the fourth quarter of 2004. For fiscal 2005, net earnings grew 27.3 percent to $2.77 billion while diluted earnings per share increased 27.7 percent to $3.46.

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

Sales for the 14-week period ended February 3, 2006 increased 26.4 percent to $10.8 billion, up from $8.55 billion for the 13-week period ended January 28, 2005. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter increased 7.8 percent versus a comparable 14-week period. For the fiscal year ended February 3, 2006, sales increased 18.6 percent to $43.2 billion. Comparable store sales increased 6.1 percent for fiscal 2005.

"Our strong fourth quarter and fiscal year results represent a focus on execution and a culture of customer service that solidifies Lowe's competitive position across the country," explained Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO. "Amidst the challenges of a weather-affected 2005 spring selling season and the devastation caused by the most active hurricane season on record, we were ready to serve customers and provide products, services and solutions to meet their home improvement needs.

"Our Installed Sales, Special Order Sales and Commercial Business Customer initiatives continue to deliver great results and remain key drivers of our performance, helping us achieve 2005 comparable store sales in excess of six percent for the third consecutive year," Niblock added. "As we continue to monitor the changing economic environment, including housing-related metrics, employment, real wage growth and demographic trends, we have confidence in our future performance as the outlook for home improvement spending remains strong. Our more than 185,000 employees and over 1,200 best-in-class stores are a true competitive advantage, and part of the reason Lowe's was recently recognized as the Best Managed Company in retail by Forbes magazine.

"We will continue to invest in this advantage with a focus on increasing employee expertise, enhancing our easy-to-shop stores, and improving our compelling merchandise offering."

During the quarter, Lowe's opened 63 new stores and reopened one store temporarily closed as a result of hurricane Katrina. As of February 3, 2006, Lowe's operated 1,234 stores in 49 states representing 140.1 million square feet of retail selling space, a 13.2 percent increase over last year.

A conference call to discuss fourth quarter and fiscal year 2005 operating results is scheduled for today (Monday, February 27) at 9:00 a.m. EST. 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 the icon for the Lowe's Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2005 Earnings Conference Call Webcast. A replay of the call will be archived on Lowes.com/investor until May 21, 2006.

Lowe's Business Outlook

Fiscal 2006 annual and fourth quarter comparisons will be negatively impacted by a 52 vs. 53 week and 13 vs. 14 week comparison, respectively. In addition, our 2006 quarterly comparisons will be impacted by a shift in comparable weeks to 2005. This week shift positively impacts the first quarter and is offset by negative impacts in the second and fourth quarters. Our 2006 guidance contemplates these factors.

First Quarter 2006 (comparisons to first quarter 2005)
     - The company expects to open 24 new stores reflecting square footage
       growth of approximately 13 percent
     - Total sales are expected to increase 19 to 20 percent
     - The company expects to report a comparable store sales increase of
       5 to 7 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 $18 million
     - Diluted earnings per share of $0.92 to $0.94 are expected
     - Lowe's first quarter ends on May 5, 2006 with operating results to be
       publicly released on Monday, May 22, 2006

    Second Quarter 2006 (comparisons to second quarter 2005)
     - Total sales are expected to increase 13 to 14 percent
     - Diluted earnings per share of $1.22 to $1.25 are expected
     - Lowe's second quarter ends on August 4, 2006 with operating results to
       be publicly released on Monday, August 21, 2006

Fiscal Year 2006 - a 52-week Year (comparisons to fiscal year 2005 - a 53-week year)

- The company expects to open 155 stores in 2006 reflecting total square
       footage growth of approximately 12 percent
     - Total sales are expected to increase approximately 13 to 14 percent for
       the year (52 weeks versus 53 weeks in 2005)
     - The company expects to report a comparable store sales increase of
       5 to 6 percent
     - Operating margin (defined as gross margin less SG&A and depreciation)
       is expected to increase approximately 20 basis points
     - Store opening costs are expected to be approximately $130 million
     - Diluted earnings per share of $4.03 to $4.13 are expected for the
       fiscal year ending February 2, 2007

    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, changes in general economic conditions, such as interest rate and currency fluctuations, rising fuel costs, and other factors which can negatively affect our customers as well as our ability to: (i) respond to 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; (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 develop new sites for store development; (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 matters; and (viii) respond to unanticipated weather conditions. Additional information regarding the risks and uncertainties which may affect our operations and economic results can be found in our 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 2005 sales of $43.2 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE(R) 50 company that serves approximately 12 million customers a week at more than 1,225 home improvement stores in 49 states. Based in Mooresville, N.C., the 60-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
                                               February 3,      January 28,
                                                  2006             2005
    Current Earnings                        Amount   Percent  Amount   Percent

    Net sales                              $10,808   100.00   $8,550   100.00

    Cost of sales                            7,010    64.86    5,561    65.04

    Gross margin                             3,798    35.14    2,989    34.96

    Expenses:

    Selling, general and administrative      2,303    21.30    1,834    21.45

    Store opening costs                         57     0.53       51     0.60

    Depreciation                               273     2.53      236     2.76

    Interest                                    36     0.33       43     0.50

    Total expenses                           2,669    24.69    2,164    25.31

    Pre-tax earnings                         1,129    10.45      825     9.65

    Income tax provision                       434     4.02      317     3.71

    Net earnings                              $695     6.43     $508     5.94

    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     Basic                                     782               773

    Basic earnings per share                 $0.89             $0.66

    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     Diluted                                   800               805

    Diluted earnings per share               $0.87             $0.64

    Cash dividends per share                 $0.06             $0.04

    Retained Earnings
    Balance at beginning of period         $11,586            $9,157
    Net earnings                               695               508
    Cash dividends                             (47)              (31)
    Balance at end of period               $12,234            $9,634



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

                                                      Years Ended
                                              February 3,      January 28,
                                                  2006             2005
    Current Earnings                        Amount   Percent  Amount   Percent

    Net sales                             $43,243    100.00  $36,464   100.00

    Cost of sales                          28,398     65.67   24,165    66.27

    Gross margin                           14,845     34.33   12,299    33.73

    Expenses:

    Selling, general and administrative     9,014     20.84    7,562    20.74

    Store opening costs                       142      0.33      123     0.34

    Depreciation                            1,025      2.37      902     2.47

    Interest                                  158      0.37      176     0.48

    Total expenses                         10,339     23.91    8,763    24.03

    Pre-tax earnings                        4,506     10.42    3,536     9.70

    Income tax provision                    1,735      4.01    1,360     3.73

    Net earnings                           $2,771      6.41   $2,176     5.97

    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     Basic                                    777                777

    Basic earnings per share                $3.56              $2.80

    Weighted average shares outstanding -
     Diluted                                  803                808

    Diluted earnings per share              $3.46              $2.71

    Cash dividends per share                $0.22              $0.15

    Retained Earnings
    Balance at beginning of period         $9,634             $7,574
    Net earnings                            2,771              2,176
    Cash dividends                           (171)              (116)
    Balance at end of period              $12,234             $9,634



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

                                                February 3,        January 28,
                                                    2006               2005
    Assets

       Current assets:
         Cash and cash equivalents                    $423               $530
         Short-term investments                        453                283
         Accounts receivable - net                      18                  9
         Merchandise inventory - net                 6,813              5,982
         Deferred income taxes                         127                 95
         Other assets                                  104                 75

         Total current assets                        7,938              6,974

         Property, less accumulated
          depreciation                              16,362             13,911
         Long-term investments                         294                146
         Other assets                                  203                178

         Total assets                              $24,797            $21,209

    Liabilities and shareholders' equity

       Current liabilities:
         Current maturities of long-term debt          $32               $630
         Accounts payable                            2,839              2,695
         Accrued salaries and wages                    424                386
         Other current liabilities                   2,652              2,008

         Total current liabilities                   5,947              5,719

         Long-term debt, excluding
          current maturities                         3,499              3,060
         Deferred income taxes                         735                736
         Other long-term liabilities                   277                159

         Total liabilities                          10,458              9,674

       Shareholders' equity:
         Preferred stock - $5 par value,
          none issued                                    -                  -
         Common stock - $.50 par value;
          Shares issued and outstanding
          February 3, 2006             784
          January 28, 2005             774             392                387
         Capital in excess of par                    1,712              1,514
         Retained earnings                          12,234              9,634
         Accumulated other comprehensive
          income                                         1                  -

         Total shareholders' equity                 14,339             11,535

         Total liabilities and
          shareholders' equity                     $24,797            $21,209



    Lowe's Companies, Inc.
    Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)
    In Millions

                                                         Years Ended

                                            February 3, 2006  January 28, 2005
    Cash flows from operating activities:
      Net earnings                                   $2,771            $2,176
        Adjustments to reconcile net earnings
         to net cash provided by
         operating activities:
          Depreciation and amortization               1,051               926
          Deferred income taxes                         (33)              109
          Loss on disposition/writedown of
           fixed and other assets                        23                55
          Stock-based compensation expense               76                70
          Tax effect of stock options exercised          59                33
          Changes in operating assets and
           liabilities:
            Accounts receivable - net                    (9)              125
            Merchandise inventory - net                (831)           (1,389)
            Other operating assets                      (29)               31
            Accounts payable                            144               483
            Other operating liabilities                 620               454
      Net cash provided by operating
       activities                                     3,842             3,073

    Cash flows from investing activities:
      Purchases of short-term investments            (1,829)           (1,180)
      Proceeds from sale/maturity of short-
       term investments                               1,802             1,799
      Purchases of long-term investments               (354)             (156)
      Proceeds from sale/maturity of long-
       term investments                                  55                28
      Increase in other long-term assets                (30)              (12)
      Fixed assets acquired                          (3,379)           (2,927)
      Proceeds from the sale of fixed and
       other long-term assets                            61                86
      Net cash used in investing activities          (3,674)           (2,362)

    Cash flows from financing activities:
      Long-term debt borrowings                       1,013                -
      Repayment of long-term debt                      (633)              (82)
      Proceeds from employee stock
       purchase plan                                     65                61
      Proceeds from stock options exercised             225                90
      Cash dividend payments                           (171)             (116)
      Repurchase of common stock                       (774)           (1,000)
      Net cash used in financing activities            (275)           (1,047)

    Net decrease in cash and cash
     equivalents                                       (107)             (336)
    Cash and cash equivalents, beginning
     of period                                          530               866
    Cash and cash equivalents, end
     of period                                         $423              $530

SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Shareholders'- Analysts' Inquiries, Paul Taaffe, +1-704-758-2033, or Media
Inquiries, Chris Ahearn, +1-704-758-2304, both of Lowe's Companies, Inc.
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