Lowe's Companies, Inc., the world's second largest home improvement retailer, reported net earnings of U.S. $649 million for the quarter ended Oct. 28, 2005, a 25.8 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share increased 24.6 percent to $0.81 from $0.65 in the third quarter of 2004. For the 9 months ended Oct. 28, 2005, net earnings grew 24.5 percent to $2.08 billion while diluted earnings per share increased 24.5 percent to $2.59.
Sales for the quarter increased 16.9 percent to $10.6 billion, up from $9.1 billion in the third quarter of 2004. Comparable store sales for the third quarter increased 6.2 percent. For the 9 months ended Oct. 28, 2005, sales increased 16.2 percent to $32.4 billion. Comparable store sales increased 5.5 percent in the first 9 months of 2005.
"Our performance, highlighted by positive comparable store sales in all of our 20 product categories and 19 of our 21 geographic regions, is a clear indication that consumers continue to invest in products and projects to maintain, enhance and improve their homes even in light of concerns about the impact of rising gasoline and home heating costs," explained Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO. "Continued investments in our business coupled with our culture of customer service have strengthened our competitive position, and we're confident Lowe's has the flexibility to adapt to changes in the marketplace to continue to deliver solid results."
During the quarter, Lowe's opened 33 new stores and temporarily closed one store impacted by hurricane Katrina. As of Oct. 28, 2005, Lowe's operated 1,170 stores in 49 states representing 133 million square ft of retail selling space, a 13.1 percent increase over last year.
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