CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Balance was the theme of
the Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) annual meeting of shareholders today,
as Chairman and CEO Robert A. Niblock outlined a future that continues to
focus on customers, even in the face of ongoing economic pressures. Niblock
told shareholders the company is managing through short-term challenges while
keeping its eye on longer-term opportunities. He characterized the balance of
those efforts as key to the company's success.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031205/LOWLOGO )
"Winning the trust of consumers today with dominant product assortments,
great value and outstanding customer service will bring customers back as they
seek valued solutions for larger projects when the economy improves," said
Lowe's gained unit market share in each quarter during 2008, and the trend
continued for the first quarter of 2009 as the company continued to gain
market share while increasing the company's customer satisfaction scores
quarter after quarter.
"Our team continues to do a great job of anticipating customer needs in
this challenging shopping environment," said Larry D. Stone, president and
COO. "The decline in larger ticket discretionary projects last year led to
more repair and maintenance projects and an overall resurgence in
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects. The DIY customer took advantage of our simple,
easy-to-understand offers that provide quality products at a great value."
Niblock thanked Lowe's 228,000 employees for their dedication in driving
sales, managing expenses and delivering superior customer service, and thanked
shareholders for their continuing support.
"As a 63-year-old company, we have faced many difficult eras before,"
Niblock added, "and in every instance we have emerged stronger. The efforts
we are making now will ensure we are positioned to take advantage of near-term
opportunities and prepare Lowe's for a prosperous future when economic
Today, the board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.09
per share, an increase of 5.9 percent, payable on July 31, 2009, to
shareholders of record as of July 17, 2009. Lowe's has paid a cash dividend
each quarter since going public in 1961.
"While 2008 was a challenging year, we generated cash flow from operations
of $4.1 billion and free cash flow of almost $900 million," CFO Robert F. Hull
told shareholders. "As a result of our prudent management of the balance
sheet and healthy cash flows, we enjoy one of the strongest credit ratings in
During the meeting, shareholders re-elected board members Peter C.
Browning, Marshall O. Larsen, Stephen F. Page, and O. Temple Sloan, Jr.
Continuing directors include David W. Bernauer, Leonard L. Berry, Dawn E.
Hudson, Robert A. Ingram, Robert L. Johnson, Richard K. Lochridge and Niblock.
Shareholders ratified the Audit Committee's selection of Deloitte as the
company's independent registered public accounting firm for the 2009 fiscal
year and approved amendments to the 2006 Lowe's Long Term Incentive Plan that
will allow the Company's outside directors to participate in the plan. The
amendments do not increase the aggregate number of shares available to be
awarded under the 2006 plan. In addition, shareholders approved amendments to
Lowe's Articles of Incorporation eliminating all remaining supermajority vote
requirements, as recommended by the board of directors in response to the
favorable vote by the shareholders on a proposal at the 2008 Annual Meeting.
Shareholders defeated proposals that Lowe's reincorporate in North Dakota,
adopt principles for healthcare reform, and separate the roles of Chairman and
Please note that Free Cash Flow is a Non-GAAP measure. A reconciliation of
Free Cash Flow can be found on our website at www.lowes.com/investor under the
heading "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures."
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").
Statements of the company's expectations for sales growth, comparable store
sales, earnings and performance, capital expenditures, store openings, the
housing market, the home improvement industry, 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
rising unemployment, interest rate and currency fluctuations, higher fuel and
other energy costs, slower growth in personal income, changes in consumer
spending, the availability and increasing regulation of consumer credit and
mortgage financing, changes in the rate of housing turnover, 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 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 successfully
develop new sites for store development particularly in major metropolitan
markets; (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 developments; and (viii)
respond to unanticipated weather conditions that could adversely affect sales.
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
description of material changes, if any, in those "Risk Factors" included in
our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
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 2008 sales of $48.2 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a
FORTUNE(R) 50 company that serves approximately 14 million customers a week at
more than 1,650 home improvement stores in the United States and Canada.
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 Inquiries, Robbin Moore-Randolph,
+1-704-758-3579; or Media Inquiries, Chris Ahearn, +1-704-758-2304, both of
Lowe's Companies, Inc./
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/Web Site: http://www.lowes.com /
CO: Lowe's Companies, Inc.
ST: North Carolina
IN: REA HMI
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0222 05/29/2009 10:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com