Lowe's Companies told analysts and investors at its annual conference In new York City that the company's outlook looks bright for 2005 and 2006.
In an update to current sales and earnings trends, the home-improvement retailer indicated it remains comfortable with its previous guidance of 3 to 4 percent comparable store sales growth and earnings per share of $0.65 to $0.66 for the third quarter of 2004, and approximately 6 percent comparable store sales growth and earnings per share of $2.69 to $2.71 for the fiscal year.
"I'm convinced our future is bright with tremendous opportunities to grow volume, share and customer loyalty in every category and every market we serve," commented Robert L. Tillman, Lowe's chairman and CEO, who previously announced his plans to retire at the end of this fiscal year.
Lowe's President Robert A. Niblock, who will become the company's next chairman and CEO on Jan. 28, 2005, said that Lowe's plans to capitalize on the demographic, social and economic trends shaping the home improvement industry.
"Understanding our customers means keeping our fingers on the pulse of the trends affecting our industry and our company," Mr. Niblock said. "That's exactly what we're doing with our specialty sales initiative, targeted merchandising and marketing effforts, enhanced technology and continued leverage from our logistics and distribution network."
Lowe's said it would add 150 stores in 2005 and 150 to 160 stores in fiscal 2006. The new stores add up to a 13 to 14 percent square footage growth in 2005 and 12 percent in 2006. Lowe's anticipates that the increased square footage is expected to drive annual sales increases of 16 to 17 percent in fiscal 2005 and approximately 16 percent in 2006.
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