--Niblock Says Affinity for Home Remains Strong
--Board Elects Bernauer as Lead Director
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 28, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --At its annual meeting today, Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) Chairman
and CEO Robert A. Niblock told shareholders the company is seeing
consumers reordering priorities, being more pragmatic across all aspects
of their lives and as a result, increasing their involvement in home
As the year progressed, Niblock said the company saw signs consumers
were expanding their spending beyond repair and maintenance into more
discretionary products and projects.
"Even in these uncertain economic times affinity for the home remains
strong. The 'to-do' list is still on the refrigerator and includes most
of the same projects as in the past," said Niblock. "We remain confident
in spite of the economic environment, and we work to find the right
balance between managing expenses and investing in our business to
ensure we continue to deliver the excellent service consumers expect
Niblock thanked shareholders for their continuing support, and
recognized Lowe's more than 238,000 employees for their teamwork and
dedication to providing great customer service as well as timely
solutions to help consumers complete home improvement projects.
"Our team remains focused on delivering products and services that
customers need to maintain their homes and complete projects," said
Larry D. Stone, president and COO. "We continue to add tools and improve
store processes to enable employees to continue to provide excellent
customer service and improve the shopping experience."
According to independent measures, Lowe's gained market share in each
quarter during 2009, and the trend continued in the first quarter of
2010. The company plans to open 40 to 45 stores this year. Niblock told
shareholders growth over the next few years will be driven by leveraging
existing assets through strategic initiatives.
"Despite a tough external environment in 2009, we focused on what we
could control and delivered earnings per share higher than our
expectations at the beginning of the year," CFO Robert F. Hull told
shareholders. "Our balance sheet remains strong, and the business is
generating significant cash flow from operations. We are committed to
delivering solid returns on our investments and efficiently returning
capital to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases."
During the meeting, shareholders re-elected board members David W.
Bernauer, Leonard L. Berry, Dawn E. Hudson and Robert A. 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.
Shareholders also ratified Deloitte & Touche as the company's
independent public accountant and approved an amendment to Lowe's bylaws
to decrease the percentage of shares required to call a special meeting
of shareholders. Proposals regarding political spending and separating
the roles of Chairman and CEO were defeated.
In a separate action, the Board of Directors elected David Bernauer as
Lead Director, replacing Temple Sloan, who served in that role since
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, share repurchases 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, beliefs and other similar
expressions 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 continued high rates of
unemployment, interest rate and currency fluctuations, higher fuel and
other energy costs, slower growth in personal income, changes in
consumer spending, changes in the rate of housing turnover, the
availability and increasing regulation 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 the psychological effects of falling home prices, and in the level of
repairs, remodeling, and additions to existing homes, as well as a
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 changes in existing
or new laws or regulations that affect employment/labor, trade, product
safety, transportation/logistics, energy costs, health care, tax or
environmental issues; and (viii) 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, if any,
therein 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" and
other information included in our periodic reports filed with the SEC.
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.
With fiscal year 2009 sales of $47.2 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is
a FORTUNE(R) 50 company that serves approximately 15 million customers a
week at more than 1,700 home improvement stores in the United States,
Canada and Mexico. 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.
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
Robbin Moore-Randolph, 704-758-3579
Chris Ahearn, 704-758-2304