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Lowe's Reports Lower Q3 Sales, Earnings

11/16/2009 11:11:56 AM Eastern

Mooresville,
N.C. - The weak
economy continued to take a toll on Lowe's during its third fiscal quarter.

The No. 2 home-improvement chain said profits fell 29.5 percent
to $344 million and net sales slipped 3 percent to $11.4 billion for the three
months ending Oct. 30. Same-store sales slid 7.5 percent during the period.

"The broad-based
pressures of the macro environment are clearly evident in our sales as
consumers continue to delay large purchases until they feel better about the economic
outlook," observed chairman/CEO Robert Niblock. But while consumer spending
remained weak, he said the company was pleased with its sequential improvement
in comp-store sales from the second quarter, and its "continued evidence of
solid market share gains."

Niblock added that the
company is starting to see signs of improvement in some of the nation's hardest-hit
housing markets, including California, Florida and sections of
the Southwest.

Lowe's opened 12 stores
and closed one during the quarter, representing a 4.9 percent increase in
retail selling space year over year. The chain operated 1,699 locations in the U.S. and Canada as of
Oct. 30.