Lowe's Reports Higher Profits, Lower Comps

By Alan Wolf On Dec 4 2006 - 8:00am

Lowe's, the No. 2 home improvement chain, reported a 10.8 percent increase in net earnings to $716 million for its fiscal third quarter ended Nov. 3.

Sales for the three months increased 5.8 percent to $11.2 billion, although comparable store sales declined 4 percent, attributed to "the combined effects of a slowing housing market in parts of the United States, significant deflation in certain commodity categories, and a difficult comparison to last year's hurricane recovery and rebuilding efforts," said president/CEO Robert Niblock.

Lowe's opened 49 new stores during the third quarter, representing a 13.4 percent increase in retail selling space year-over-year, and bringing its store count up to 1,330 as of early November. Looking ahead, the company plans to open another 58 stores during the current quarter, but is expecting a comp-store sales decline of 4 to 6 percent.

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