MOORESVILLE, NC -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. reported net earnings of $1.04 billion for the quarter ended August 1, 2014, a 10.4 percent increase over the same period a year ago.
Sales for the second quarter increased 5.7 percent to $16.6 billion from $15.7 billion in the second quarter of 2013, and comparable sales for the quarter increased 4.4 percent. For the six month period, sales were $30.0 billion, a 4.2 percent increase over the same period a year ago, and comparable sales increased 2.8 percent.
"I would like to thank our employees for their hard work during our peak selling season, which helped us deliver solid results for the second quarter. We were able to recover most of the outdoor product sales missed in the first quarter due to unfavorable weather conditions," commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO.
"We believe home improvement spending will continue to progress in tandem with strengthening job and income growth," Niblock added. "Our year-to-date sales performance, together with our previous assumptions for the second half of 2014, result in a modest reduction to our sales outlook for the year. Our diluted earnings per share outlook is unchanged, which is a testament to our keen focus on profitability."
Delivering on its commitment to return excess cash to shareholders, the company repurchased $1.1 billion of stock under its share repurchase program and paid $183 million in dividends in the second quarter. For the six month period, the company repurchased $2.0 billion of stock under its share repurchase program and paid $369 million in dividends.
As of August 1, 2014, Lowe's operated 1,837 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 200.8 million square feet of retail selling space.
Lowe's Business Outlook
The company has combined its year-to-date sales performance with its previous assumptions for the second half of 2014 when providing the updated outlook below.
Fiscal Year 2014 (comparisons to fiscal year 2013; based on U.S. GAAP unless otherwise noted)
Total sales are expected to increase approximately 4.5 percent.
Comparable sales are expected to increase approximately 3.5 percent.
The company expects to open approximately 10 home improvement and 5 hardware stores.
Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) are expected to increase approximately 65 basis points.