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Lowe's Reports 1.7% Rise in Q4 Like-For-Like Sales

Lowe's storefront - lawnmowers - 725 x 500

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. today reported a net loss of $824 million and diluted loss per share of ($1.03) for the quarter ended Feb. 1, 2019, which included pre-tax charges of $1.6 billion, compared to net earnings of $554 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.67 in the fourth quarter of 2017. 

Excluding certain charges which are described below, adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 8.1 percent to $0.80 in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.74 in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The $1.6 billion in pre-tax charges recognized in the fourth quarter included the following:

  • $952 million related to a non-cash goodwill impairment charge associated with the company’s Canadian operations;
  • $208 million of charges, primarily lease obligations, related to the previously announced closing of all Orchard Supply Hardware locations;
  • $150 million of charges, primarily lease and severance obligations as well as accelerated depreciation and amortization, related to the previously announced closing of certain underperforming stores in the U.S. and Canada as well as other locations in Canada;
  • $222 million related to asset impairment charges associated with the previously announced exit of retail operations in Mexico;
  • $32 million of inventory write-down, severance obligations and other costs associated with the wind down of Iris Smart Home; and
  • $13 million in severance obligations associated with the elimination of the Project Specialists Interiors position.

Sales for the fourth quarter were $15.6 billion compared to $15.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, and comparable sales increased 1.7 percent.  Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 2.4 percent for the fourth quarter.

“Overall, we are pleased with the progress we are making in our business,” commented Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO.  

“Most of the intense work over the past six months to transform our company has been in preparation for an improved spring season and fiscal 2019.  Therefore, we are encouraged by an improved comparable sales progression through the fourth quarter, culminating in U.S. home improvement comp growth of 5.8% in January.  Although we have remaining work to do, we are pleased with the results we are seeing in early spring categories, which is evidence that we are focused on the right actions at this stage of our transformation.

“U.S. macroeconomic fundamentals remain sound for 2019, and we will continue to implement process and technology improvements to capitalize on the immediate opportunity to improve results.  We anticipate continued weakness in the Canadian housing market in the near-term, but remain confident in our market position in Canada and the long-term potential of that business.  I would like to thank all of our associates for their commitment and dedication to serving our customers and communities,” added Ellison.

Source : Insight DIY Team and Lowe's Press Release

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27 February 2019

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