MOORESVILLE, NC - Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), the world's second largest home improvement retailer, today reported net earnings of $832 million for the quarter ended July 30, 2010, a 9.6 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share increased 13.7 percent to $0.58 from $0.51 in the second quarter of 2009. For the six months ended July 30, 2010, net earnings increased 7.0 percent to $1.32 billion while diluted earnings per share increased 9.5 percent to $0.92.
Sales for the quarter increased 3.7 percent to $14.4 billion, up from $13.8 billion in the second quarter of 2009. For the six months ended July 30, 2010, sales increased 4.2 percent to $26.7 billion. Comparable store sales for the second quarter increased 1.6 percent and for the first half of 2010 increased 2.0 percent.
"Despite economic uncertainty, our continued focus on the customer and prudent expense management yielded solid results for the quarter," said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman and CEO. "With limited visibility into near-term demand, we continue to focus on operational efficiency to create value for our shareholders. Longer-term, we believe improvements in labor and housing markets will be necessary to support more consistent improvement in demand for home improvement products."
During the quarter, Lowe's opened four stores and closed one. As of July 30, 2010, Lowe's operated 1,724 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 194.6 million square feet of retail selling space, a 2.0 percent increase over last year.
Third Quarter 2010 (comparisons to third quarter 2009)
* The company expects to open approximately 12 new stores reflecting square footage growth of approximately 2 percent
* Total sales are expected to increase 3 to 5 percent
* The company expects comparable store sales to increase 1 to 3 percent
* Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) is expected to increase approximately 120 basis points
* Depreciation expense is expected to be approximately $400 million
* Diluted earnings per share of $0.28 to $0.32 are expected
* Lowe's third quarter ends on October 29, 2010 with operating results to be publicly released on Monday, November 15, 2010
Fiscal Year 2010 (comparisons to fiscal year 2009)
* The company expects to open 40 to 45 stores in 2010 reflecting total square footage growth of approximately 2 percent
* Total sales are expected to increase approximately 4 percent
* The company expects comparable store sales to increase approximately 2 percent
* Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) is expected to increase approximately 70 basis points
* Depreciation expense is expected to be approximately $1.60 billion
* Diluted earnings per share of $1.38 to $1.45 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 1,700 home improvement stores in North America. 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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