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Impressive Lowe's results: net earnings 76 percent up

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Staff writer |
Lowe's CompaniesLowe's Companies, a home improvement retailer with 1,750 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, reported a 76 percent increase of the net earnings over the same period a year ago.


The net earnings was $396 million for the quarter ended November 2, 2012. Diluted earnings per share increased 94.4 percent to $0.35. Net earnings increased 10.1 percent from the same period a year ago to $1.67 billion, while diluted earnings per share increased 21.4 percent to $1.42.

Reported results are charges related to long-lived asset impairments, discontinued projects, and a change in the discount rate applied to self-insurance claims which, in the aggregate, reduced pre-tax earnings for the third quarter by $85 million and diluted earnings per share by $0.05. For the same period a year ago, reported results included charges related to store closings, long-lived asset impairments, and discontinued projects which, in the aggregate, reduced pre-tax earnings by $368 million and diluted earnings per share by $0.18.

Robert A. Niblock"We are keenly focused on improving our core business. Our level of execution is improving and we delivered solid results in the third quarter," said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. Comparable store sales for the third quarter increased 1.8 percent on a consolidated basis as well as for the U.S. business. For the nine month period, comparable store sales increased 1.3 percent, while comparable store sales for the U.S. business increased 1.4 percent. Comparable store sales are based on comparable 13-week periods.

Lowe's fiscal year included 53 weeks. The quarterly comparisons in 2012, which is a 52-week year, are impacted by a shift in comparable weeks. Sales for the third quarter increased 1.9 percent to $12.1 billion from $11.9 billion in the third quarter of 2011. The week shift negatively impacted total sales by $62 million or 0.5 percent for the third quarter. For the nine months, sales were $39.5 billion, a 2.3 percent increase over the same period a year ago. The week shift accounted for $192 million or 0.5 percent of the total sales increase for the nine month period.

The company repurchased $850 million or 29.6 million shares of stock and paid $184 million in dividends in the third quarter. For the nine month period, the company repurchased $3.6 billion or 124.4 million shares of common stock and paid $524 million in dividends.

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