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Lowe’s Earnings Up On Weak Sales

Mooresville, N.C. – No. 2 home-improvement chain Lowe’s reported
a 17.4 percent increase in net earnings, to $404 million, for the third quarter,
ended Oct. 29.

Lowe’s managed to squeeze profits from sluggish sales that rose
less than 2 percent, to $11.6 billion, and flat comp-store sales.

 Chairman/CEO Robert
Niblock said the company has learned to “operate effectively in a slow-growth
environment,” and thanked its more than 238,000 employees for helping to
deliver solid results despite the sluggish economic recovery.

“Ongoing uncertainty in employment and housing continues to
pressure our industry,” he said, but “we continue to solidify plans to enhance
our market share gains as macro-economic factors slowly improve.”

The company opened 10 stores during the quarter, for a total of
1,734 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Lowe’s expects to open 17 more
locations during the current quarter, which should help boost sales 2 percent
to 4 percent, it projected, although comp-store sales are expected to range
from flat to an increase of 2 percent.

No. 1 channel competitor The Home Depot is scheduled to report
its results tomorrow.