Home improvement retailer Lowe's Companies, Inc. reported net earnings of U.S. $522 million for the quarter ended Oct. 29, 2004, a 15.5 percent increase over the same period in 2003.
Diluted earnings per share increased 17.9 percent to $0.66 from $0.56 in the third quarter of 2003. For the 9 months ended Oct. 29, 2004, net earnings grew 14.4 percent to $1.68 billion while diluted earnings per share increased 14.7 percent to $2.11.
Sales for the quarter increased 16.2 percent to $9.1 billion, up from $7.8 billion in the third quarter of 2003. Comparable store sales for the third quarter increased 5.2 percent. For the 9-months period, sales increased 18.3 percent to $27.9 billion. Comparable store sales increased 6.6 percent for the first 9 months of 2004.
"The results our employees delivered in the third quarter are a clear indication that our stores are meeting customer needs with great products and industry leading customer service every day," explained Robert L. Tillman, Lowe's chairman and CEO. "Continued signs of a robust housing market, improving employment and strong demographic trends provide a foundation for our optimism for the future."
During the quarter, Lowe's opened 35 new stores including one relocation. As of Oct. 29, 2004, Lowe's operated 1,031 stores in 45 states representing 117.5 million sq ft of retail selling space, a 13.4 percent increase over last year.
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