Lowe's Reports Higher Q1 Sales

By Steve Smith On Jun 5 2006 - 6:00am

Lowe's reported net earnings of $841 million for the quarter ended May 5, a 43.5 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

Sales for the quarter increased 20.3 percent to $11.92 billion, up from $9.91 billion in the first quarter of 2005. Total sales results were positively impacted by a calendar shift and change in accounting practices, the company said. Comp-store sales for the first quarter increased 5.7 percent.

Robert A. Niblock, chairman/ president/CEO, mentioned “industry-leading market share gains in appliances” as one of the quarter's highlights.

During the first quarter of 2006, management reviewed the company's method of accounting for early payment discounts on merchandise purchases, and determined, effective for 2006, it should recognize these discounts initially as a reduction of inventory cost and then as a reduction to cost of sales when the related inventory is sold.

Lowe's previously recognized early payment discounts as a financing component of merchandise purchases by reducing cost of sales when the related product was purchased. Prior year financial statements have been restated to reflect this change.

During the quarter, Lowe's opened 24 new stores and expects to open another 24 this quarter.

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