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Lowe's reports 'solid' third quarter

Lowe's store

Lowe's Companies, Inc. today reported net earnings of $736 million for the quarter ended October 30, 2015, a 25.8 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share increased 35.6 percent to $0.80 from $0.59 in the third quarter of 2014. For the nine months ended October 30, 2015, net earnings increased 12.8 percent from the same period a year ago to $2.5 billion, and diluted earnings per share increased 20.5 percent to $2.70.

Sales for the third quarter increased 5.0 percent to $14.4 billion from $13.7 billion in the third quarter of 2014, and comparable sales increased 4.6 percent. For the nine month period, sales were $45.8 billion, a 4.9 percent increase over the same period a year ago, and comparable sales increased 4.6 percent. Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 5.0 percent for the third quarter and 4.9 percent for the nine month period.

"This is an exciting time for Lowe's as we continue to execute our strategic priorities alongside a favorable macroeconomic backdrop," commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO. "I am pleased that we delivered another solid quarter. Comparable sales growth was driven by gains in both transactions and average ticket, while our focus on productivity and profitability also allowed us to deliver strong earnings per share growth."

"I would like to thank our employees for their purposeful commitment to serving customers, particularly those who worked diligently to assist our neighbors that were impacted by the historic flooding in South Carolina," Niblock added.

Delivering on its commitment to return excess cash to shareholders, the company repurchased $750 million of stock under its share repurchase program and paid $260 million in dividends in the third quarter. For the nine month period, the company repurchased $3.3 billion of stock under its share repurchase program and paid $700 million in dividends.

As of October 30, 2015, Lowe's operated 1,849 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 201.6 million square feet of retail selling space.

Lowe's Business Outlook

Fiscal Year 2015 (comparisons to fiscal year 2014; based on U.S. GAAP unless otherwise noted)

- Total sales are expected to increase 4.5 to 5 percent.
- Comparable sales are expected to increase 4 to 4.5 percent.
- The company expects to add 15 to 20 home improvement and hardware stores.
- Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) are expected to increase 80 to 100 basis points.
- The effective income tax rate is expected to be approximately 38.1%.
- Diluted earnings per share of approximately $3.29 are expected for the fiscal year ending January 29, 2016.

Source : Lowe’s Companies, Inc – Press Release
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=95223&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2113480

19 November 2015

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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