Lowe's posts positive comps, beats expectations

The world's second-largest home improvement retailer posted its first quarterly comp-store sales gain since the second quarter of 2006.

In its first quarter earnings report released today, Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s Cos. showed comparable-store sales increased 2.4%. The company also reported net earnings of $489 million for the quarter ended April 30, a 2.7% increase from the same period a year ago.

 

Sales for the quarter increased 4.7% to $12.4 billion, up from $11.8 billion in the first quarter of 2009. Comparable-store sales for the first quarter increased 2.4%.

 

“Consumers are showing signs of reengagement in home improvement, including discretionary projects and purchases of bigger ticket products, which had taken a back seat during the worst of the economic downturn,” commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman and CEO. “This, combined with the government stimulus programs and favorable weather in March and April, drove solid quarterly sales and earnings that exceeded our guidance."

 

During the quarter, Lowe’s opened 11 stores. As of April 30, Lowe’s operated 1,721 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 194.3 million square feet of retail selling space, a 2.9% increase over last year.

For the full year, the company expects to open 40 to 45 stores in 2010 reflecting total square footage growth of approximately 2%. Lowe's expects total sales to increase 5% to 7%. The company expects comp-store sales to increase 2% to 4% in 2010.