MOORESVILLE, NC -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. 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. 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.