MOORESVILLE, NC - Home remodeling and commercial lumber center Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), said it closed seven stores on Sunday, laying off 650 and taking an $83 million charge.

The announcement came as Lowe's reported second quarter earnings of $830 million for the quarter ended July 29, 2011, essentially flat from the same period in 2010, on sales of  $14.5 billion, up 1.3 percent 

“Despite some recovery in our seasonal business, our performance for the quarter fell short,” said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. Lowe's said it had opened two stores during the quarter, and that oa Sanford, NC store destroyed April 16 by a tornado,  will reopen September 8.

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