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International DIY News

Lowe's Reports 30% Rise In Q3 Sales

Lowe's Customer Service uniform 725 x 500.jpg

Lowe's Companies, Inc. today reported net earnings of $692 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.91 for the quarter ended October 30, 2020, which included a $1.1 billion pre-tax loss on extinguishment of debt in connection with the company's third quarter $3.0 billion cash tender offer, compared to net earnings of $1.0 billion and diluted EPS of $1.36 in the third quarter of 2019.  Excluding these charges, third quarter adjusted diluted EPS increased 40 percent to $1.98 from adjusted diluted EPS of $1.41 in the third quarter of 20191.

Sales for the third quarter were $22.3 billion compared to $17.4 billion in the third quarter of 2019, and comparable sales increased 30.1 percent.  Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 30.4 percent for the third quarter.

In the third quarter, the Company invested $245 million in COVID-related support of frontline hourly associates, bringing its total COVID-related associate financial support to more than $800 million this year.  As a reflection of its commitment to supporting its associates and communities, Lowe's has invested more than $1.1 billion in COVID-related support for its associates, store safety and community pandemic relief through the first nine months of fiscal 2020. 

For the third quarter in a row, hourly associates at 100% of stores earned their "Winning Together" profit-sharing bonus, which totaled $104 million.  For further information on the Company's safety protocols in response to COVID-19, please visit corporate.lowes.com/covid-19-response.

"Strong execution enabled us to meet continued broad-based demand, as we delivered over 15% growth in all merchandising departments, over 20% growth across all geographic regions and triple-digit growth online.  We continued to invest in the future growth of the company, including a $100 million investment in the quarter as part of an ongoing effort to reset the layout of our U.S. stores, making them easier to shop with improved product adjacencies, especially for Pro customers.  Our omni-channel transformation continued in the third quarter with further investments in Lowes.com and our supply chain.   I remain confident that we are making the right strategic investments to deliver sustainable, long-term growth.  I would also like to thank our outstanding frontline associates for their unwavering commitment to customer service and safety," commented Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe's president and CEO.

Capital Allocation

The Company reinstated its share repurchase program, and repurchased 3.6 million shares for $621 million during the quarter, while it also paid $416 million in dividends. 

During the quarter, the Company made a cash tender offer for $3.0 billion of higher-coupon bonds, and issued $4.0 billion of senior unsecured notes at a weighted average interest rate of 2.17%, which is a record low in company history. These actions further strengthened the Company's balance sheet by lowering its annual interest expense.

At quarter-end, the Company had $8.2 billion of cash and cash equivalents as well as $3.0 billion in undrawn capacity on its revolving credit facilities, which will be available for any unanticipated liquidity needs. 

As of October 30, 2020, Lowe's operated 1,969 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States and Canada representing 208 million square feet of retail selling space.

On May 20, 2020, the Company withdrew its financial guidance for fiscal year 2020 due to limited visibility into future business trends in this unprecedented operating environment.  While the business environment remains uncertain, the Company is providing the following outlook for the operating results of the fourth quarter of 2020.

Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Outlook (comparisons to fourth quarter 2019)

  • Total and comparable sales growth of approximately 15 to 20 percent.
  • Adjusted operating income as a percentage of sales (adjusted operating margin) is expected to be essentially flat to prior-year levels, given ongoing COVID-related operating expenses, $150 million expense related to the reset of the layout of our U.S. stores, and investments in expanding the supply chain network.
  • Effective income tax rate of approximately 27%.
  • Expected repurchase of approximately $3.0 billion of stock.
  • Diluted earnings per share and adjusted diluted earnings per share1 of $1.10 - $1.20.

For fiscal 2020, the Company expects capital expenditures of approximately $1.7 billion.

Source : Lowe's

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18 November 2020

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