Shareholders Elect Board Members
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today at its annual
meeting, Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) Chairman and CEO Robert A. Niblock
told shareholders the company remains confident about the future in spite of
challenges impacting the home improvement industry.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031205/LOWLOGO )
"Long-term demographic trends are favorable," Niblock said. "Plus,
increasing real disposable income and a solid employment market provide near-
term support. These are favorable signs that consumers can and will continue
to spend on needed repairs and maintenance of their homes."
Following market share gains in 2006, Lowe's has continued to gain share
during the first quarter of the year in 17 of its 20 product categories.
President and Chief Operating Officer Larry D. Stone credited Lowe's 210,000
employees for their sharp focus on serving customers, in spite of challenges
the home improvement industry faced throughout the year.
"In addition to our success gaining market share across most of the
product groups in our store, we also continue to increase our relevance with
the Commercial Business Customer (CBC); and in 2006, this part of our business
had comparable store sales significantly higher than the company average,"
Stone said. "This is a clear indication that our CBC programs are connecting
During the meeting, shareholders elected David W. Bernauer, non-executive
chairman of Walgreen Co., to the board and re-elected board members Leonard L.
Berry, Dawn E. Hudson, and Niblock. Continuing directors include Peter C.
Browning, Robert A. Ingram, Robert L. Johnson, Marshall O. Larsen, Richard K.
Lochridge, Stephen F. Page and O. Temple Sloan, Jr. Paul Fulton, chairman of
the board of Bassett Furniture Industries, Inc. and a Lowe's director since
1996, retired from the board after reaching the mandatory age for directors
under the company's Corporate Governance Guidelines.
"Paul served during a time of tremendous growth, and his leadership on key
board committees has been invaluable," said Niblock. "On behalf of the entire
board, I'd like to thank him for his outstanding service to Lowe's and our
shareholders over the past ten years."
Shareholders approved an amendment to the Employee Stock Purchase Plan to
increase available shares by 25 million; ratified Deloitte & Touche as the
company's independent public accountants for the 2007 fiscal year; and
approved a shareholder proposal to elect all directors annually.
They rejected shareholder proposals to require minimum share ownership for
director nominees; to require a separate annual report addressing progress
toward implementation of the company's wood policy; to submit certain
severance agreements to a shareholder vote; and to require bonuses and long-
term compensation be awarded based on company performance compared to that of
Earlier today, Lowe's announced that the board of directors has authorized
a share repurchase program of up to $3 billion, effective immediately. This
program is intended to be implemented through purchases made from time to time
in either the open market or through private transactions, in accordance with
Securities and Exchange Commission requirements. As of May 4, 2007, Lowe's had
1.5 billion shares outstanding.
"This authorization to repurchase Lowe's stock is an indication of the
financial strength of the company and the board's confidence in it. With
ongoing dividend payments, the share repurchase program allows us to continue
to enhance the overall return to shareholders," Niblock added.
The board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.08 per
share, an increase of 60 percent, payable on August 3, 2007 to shareholders of
record as of July 30, 2007. Lowe's has paid a cash dividend each quarter since
going public in 1961.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Robert F. Hull, Jr.
commented, "Our strong cash flow has allowed us to dramatically increase our
dividends. For the 13-year period from 1990 through 2002, our annual dividend
increased an average of nine percent. From 2003 through 2006, our dividend
increased 46 percent (on average) per year."
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, 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, 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. For more information about these and other
risks and uncertainties that we are exposed to, you should read the "Risk
Factors" included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K to the United States
Securities and Exchange Commission and the descriptions of material changes,
if any, in those "Risk Factors" included in our subsequent Quarterly Reports
on Form 10-Q.
With fiscal year 2006 sales of $46.9 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a
FORTUNE(R) 50 company that serves approximately 13 million customers a week at
more than 1,400 home improvement stores in 49 states. 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.
/CONTACT: Shareholder-Analyst, Robbin Moore-Randolph, +1-704-758-3579, 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, email@example.com/
/Web site: http://www.lowes.com /
CO: Lowe's Companies, Inc.
ST: North Carolina
IN: REA CST
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4472 05/25/2007 11:05 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com