--Niblock Says the Company Will Make Home Improvement Simple
--Board of Directors Declares a 27% Increase in Quarterly Cash
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 27, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
At its annual meeting today, Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) chairman
and CEO Robert A. Niblock told shareholders how the company plans to
transform Lowe's from a home improvement retailer to a home improvement
company by providing inspiration, products and support to customers
whenever and wherever they choose to interact with Lowe's.
While uncertainty remains in the marketplace, Niblock said Lowe's
continues to deliver on its promise of great value, products and
services by implementing operational programs to enhance the customer
"Making home improvement simple for customers starts with making it
simple for our employees by providing them with the right technology and
resources," said Niblock. "Throughout our 65-year history, Lowe's has
changed many times. To be successful in the future, we must transform
the shopping experience for customers wherever and however they choose
to shop with Lowe's."
Niblock thanked shareholders and the more than 234,000 Lowe's employees
for their continuing support, dedication and resilience throughout the
recession and start of the recovery.
The Board of Directors declared a 27 percent increase in its quarterly
cash dividend to fourteen cents ($0.14) per share, payable August 3,
2011, to shareholders of record as of July 20, 2011. Lowe's has declared
a cash dividend each quarter since going public in 1961.
Larry D. Stone, who will retire as president and COO June 2 after 42
years with the company, said the next chapter for Lowe's is well under
way to make our organization an even stronger company in the industry.
"Change has always been a part of Lowe's culture, and throughout our
history we've changed the company to meet the evolving needs of
customers," said Stone. "The next chapter of transformational change for
Lowe's will enable our employees to enhance the customer experience and
make shopping for home improvement a seamless process."
Lowe's plans to open approximately 25 stores this year. Niblock told
shareholders the company is focused on long-term growth driven by
enhanced customer-focused experiences.
"As Lowe's celebrates its 50th anniversary as a public
company, we remain focused on building our company for the future while
taking advantage of near-term opportunities that continue to drive value
for shareholders," CFO Robert F. Hull Jr. told shareholders. "While the
macro environment continues on the path to recovery, Lowe's balance
sheet and financial position remain strong, generating higher cash flow
and returning more capital to shareholders through increased dividends
and share repurchases."
During the meeting, shareholders re-elected board members Raul Alvarez,
David W. Bernauer, Leonard L. Berry, Peter C. Browning, Dawn E. Hudson,
Robert L. Johnson, Robert A. Niblock, Marshall O. Larsen, Richard K.
Lochridge and Stephen F. Page to one-year terms.
Shareholders also ratified Deloitte & Touche as the company's
independent public accountant and approved Lowe's 2011 Annual Incentive
Plan. Shareholders cast advisory votes on executive compensation and
recommended that the shareholder "say-on-pay" vote be conducted
annually. Shareholder proposals regarding executive severance, linking
pay to performance on sustainability goals and political spending were
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, 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 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, 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) maintain critical information systems; (iii) ensure that
customer facing technology systems perform efficiently and reliably;
(iv) secure or develop and implement sufficiently robust new
technologies to deliver business process solutions in an efficient
manner; (v) attract, train, and retain highly-qualified associates who
can respond to and embrace changes in our business model; (vi) respond
to fluctuations in the prices and availability of services, supplies,
and products; (vii) respond to the growth and impact of competition;
(viii) differentiate ourselves from competitors based upon our
relationships with suppliers of brand name products; (ix) address
changes in existing or new laws or regulations that affect consumer
credit, employment/labor, trade, product safety,
transportation/logistics, energy costs, health care, tax or
environmental issues; (x) respond to disruption of the domestic or
international supply chain caused by transportation disruption, vendor
disagreements, vendor failures, host country instability, trade tariffs,
or international terrorism; (xi) adequately protect sensitive customer,
employee or vendor information; (xii) respond to the unique challenges
associated with international expansion, and (xiii) prevent material
product liability associated with manufacturing or packaging defects. 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 in the "Risk Factors"
included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K to the SEC and the
description of material changes, if any, therein included in our
Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. 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 2010 sales of $48.8 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is
a FORTUNE(R) 50 company that serves approximately 15 million
customers a week at more than 1,750 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.
Tiffany Mason, 704-758-2033
Chris Ahearn, 704-758-2304