MOORESVILLE, NC  November 15, 2010 - Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), the world’s second largest home improvement retailer, today reported net earnings of $404 million for the quarter ended October 29, 2010, a 17.4 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share increased 26.1 percent to $0.29 from $0.23 in the third quarter of 2009. For the nine months ended October 29, 2010, net earnings increased 9.3 percent to $1.72 billion while diluted earnings per share increased 13.1 percent to $1.21.

Included in the above reported results, the company recognized a charge related to an evaluation of the carrying value of long-lived assets, including two stores that closed on November 7, and the pipeline of potential future store sites, which reduced pre-tax earnings for the quarter by $50 million and diluted earnings per share by two cents ($0.02).

Sales for the quarter increased 1.9 percent to $11.6 billion, up from $11.4 billion in the third quarter of 2009. For the nine months ended October 29, 2010, sales increased 3.5 percent to $38.3 billion. Comparable store sales for the third quarter increased 0.2 percent and for the first nine months of 2010 increased 1.4 percent.

“Thanks to the dedication of our 238,000+ employees, we delivered solid results for the quarter despite the continued sluggishness of the economic recovery,” said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. “Ongoing uncertainty in employment and housing continues to pressure our industry, but we are prepared to operate effectively in a slow-growth environment. We continue to solidify plans to enhance our market share gains as macro-economic factors slowly improve.”

During the quarter, Lowe’s opened ten stores. As of October 29, 2010, Lowe’s operated 1,734 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 195.6 million square feet of retail selling space, a 1.9 percent increase over last year.

Lowe’s Business Outlook

Fourth Quarter 2010 (comparisons to fourth quarter 2009)

* The company expects to open approximately 17 stores reflecting square footage growth of approximately 2 percent
* Total sales are expected to increase 2 to 4 percent
* The company expects comparable store sales to increase 0 to 2 percent
* Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) is expected to increase approximately 80 basis points
* Depreciation expense is expected to be approximately $400 million
* Diluted earnings per share of $0.16 to $0.19 are expected
* Lowe’s fourth quarter ends on January 28, 2011 with operating results to be publicly released on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fiscal Year 2010 (comparisons to fiscal year 2009)

* The company expects to open approximately 42 stores in 2010 reflecting total square footage growth of approximately 2 percent
* Total sales are expected to increase 3 to 4 percent
* The company expects comparable store sales to increase 1 to 2 percent
* Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) is expected to increase 50 to 60 basis points
* Depreciation expense is expected to be approximately $1.60 billion
* Diluted earnings per share of $1.37 to $1.40 are expected for the fiscal year ending January 28, 2011


With fiscal year 2009 sales of $47.2 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 15 million customers a week at more than 1,725 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.

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