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LOWE'S ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER 1991 RESULTS

                LOWE'S ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER 1991 RESULTS
    NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Earnings were $.36


per share, down from last year's $.38.
    FINANCIAL SUMMARY
    Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) third quarter sales were 12 percent above last year's quarter. The earnings per share of $.36 were down 6 percent. Cash dividends were $.14 per share representing an 8 percent increase over the comparable quarter's $.13 per share, with 2 percent fewer shares outstanding.
                       Financial Highlights
            (Dollars in Thousands, except per share data)
                    Pct.    Third  Quarter   Pct.  Nine Months YTD
    Total Dollars   Change   1991    1990    Change    1991      1990
    Sales           +12    $790,274  $708,124  + 4  $2,346,634 2,247,084
    Cost of
         Sales      +13     601,789   533,373  + 5   1,781,915 1,696,813
    Gross Margin    + 8     188,485   174,751  + 3     564,719   550,271
    Total Expenses  + 9     169,317   155,087  + 8     492,846   457,004
    Pre-Tax
        Earnings    ( 3)     19,168    19,664  (23)     71,873    93,267
    Income Taxes     11       6,176     5,583  (19)     22,121    27,244
    Net Earnings    ( 8)     12,992    14,081  (25)     49,752    66,023
    Dividends       + 6    $  5,109  $  4,832  + 2   $  14,919  $  4,557
    Per Share Data:
    Earnings        ( 6)   $    .36  $    .38  (23)  $    1.36  $   1.76
    Dividends       + 8    $    .14  $    .13  + 5   $     .41  $    .39
    Shares
     Outstanding    ( 2)     36,543    37,390    -      36,538    37,440
   (Weighted Average in Thousands)
    RESULTS PERSPECTIVE
    On October 15, 1991, almost one month ago, we announced that we expected third quarter earnings to be:
    -- Below last year's third quarter.
    -- Below street estimates of 42 cents to 55 cents.
    -- In the range of 30 cents per share.
    This quarter's 36 cents per share benefitted strongly from positive sales leverage in October, which finished up 18 percent year-to-year compared to August's plus 11 percent and September's plus 5 percent, all on a 4-4-5 week basis. More detailed discussion follows.
    SALES ANALYSIS
    Sales in the third quarter of 1991 were $790,274,000  compared with $708,124,000 in last year's third quarter, a 12 percent increase in total. Retail sales increased in the quarter by 17 percent. With sales to contractors up 2 percent, retail sales posted 67 percent of the total. Comparable store sales, representing an average of 291 stores open more than one year, with comparable square footage, were $735,310,000, an increase of 9 percent. Comparable store sales were up 13 percent for the quarter in our family of 31 large stores opened in 1989.
    RELATIVE STORE PERFORMANCE
    Lowe's shareholders and observers know that the company's move to larger stores began in 1984, with sales floors in the 20,000 and up square footage range. Our expansion of stores from 1984 through third quarter 1991 has brought us to a total of 185 newer, larger stores, and a group of 123 older, smaller stores. Customers, and the quarterly scorecards overwhelmingly endorse the larger stores. In fact, the 123 store group accounted for more than all the third quarter year to year earnings decline.
    BIG STORE PERFORMANCE
    Our big store roll out (stores greater than 40,000 square feet) began in earnest in 1989 with 31 stores, about 10 percent of the present chain. These stores have now been open during all of our fiscal 1990 year, and during the first three quarters of fiscal 1991.
    During each of the first second and third quarters, as in fiscal 1990, this group has posted average sales dollars per store more than 20 percent higher than chain average, and as noted, their comparable store sales increase of 13 percent compared to the chain average of 9 percent performance during the third quarter.
    Their average operating profit dollars per store (profit before interest on current assets, LIFO adjustment, and taxes) exceeded chain average by more than 40 percent. They also continue to rank higher than chain average in the following measurements:
    -- Retail sales as percent of total
    -- Gross margin percent
    -- Expense percent
    -- Operating profit percent to sales
    So these stores are continuing to demonstrate success with authoritative customer appeal. Their performance underscores our strategy to step up the pace of conversion of our old small store chain into a new, large store chain of destination home centers. Please see our expansion commentary.
                          Customer Sales Trends
    3 Months Ended October 31, 1991 vs 3 Months Ended October 31, 1990
                         Dollars in Millions
                       Percent  3rd Qtr. Percent       3rd Qtr.
    Sales               Change    1991    Mix           1990      Mix
    Total                 +12      $790.3   100         $708.1    100
    Home Center           +18       429.9    54          364.6     51
    Consumer Durables     +13       101.8    13          89.8      13
    Contractor            + 2      $258.6    33          253.7     36
    CUSTOMER/MERCHANDISE SALES TRENDS
    Home center sales in the third quarter increased 18 percent with strong sales results coming from tools; home decor; home illumination; bathrooms and kitchens; yard, patio and garden; and structural lumber. Consumer durables increased 13 percent principally due to improvement in power lawn tools, kitchen appliances, water heaters, home laundry and consumer electronics. Contractor sales improved 2 percent. The most significant product group sales gains in our contractor business were in structural lumber, home water systems, and security systems.
    MARGIN ANALYSIS
    The LIFO gross margin for the third quarter, was 23.85 percent compared to 24.68 percent in last year's quarter, a decline of 83 basis points. The lower gross margin percent was caused by several factors such as higher distribution costs associated with our new satellite distribution centers (32 basis points); increased inventory shrinkage (19 basis points) and lower margins in certain discontinued products (27 basis points); However, the most substantial impact came from lumber and plywood margins which decreased over two full points, and at 26 percent of total sales mix, those products had a negative impact of 57 basis points. The gross margin had a positive impact of 39 basis points from the increased mix in home center merchandise. Additionally a LIFO credit improved the reported gross margin by 8 basis points. We do anticipate our increased costs with distribution to continue over the next several quarters as we have expanded our distribution network to better serve our stores. Also, we anticipate an ongoing higher level of inventory shrinkage because of the expanded amount of merchandise in our stores, especially in our new larger stores. However, the larger stores' gross margin performance this quarter, with all the above factors, was better than that of the 123 smaller stores.
    EARNINGS ANALYSIS
    Net earnings in the third quarter were $12,992,000 compared to $14,081,000, an 8 percent decline. Earnings per share were $.36 versus $.38, a 6 percent decline over last year's quarter.
    EXPENSES
    Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses in the third quarter improved 29 basis points as a percent to sales. The primary factors contributing to the increase were:
    -- Freight and delivery cost were more favorable this year's quarter because of a new program to monitor these expenses.
    -- Corporate expenses were vigilantly controlled. Positive leverage was created by an expense percent increase which was less than our 12 percent sales increase. Also we reduced the accrual for bonuses.
    -- Favorable comparisons were experienced with advertising expense and communications.
    -- Improvement in our retail credit program due to lower interest rates and better efficiencies in the operation of these programs.


Other factors were:
    -- Store salaries were up because of increases in  comparable stores and our new and relocated stores.
    -- Rent expense was higher than last year.
    Depreciation was $14.5 million in the quarter compared to $13.1 million in last year's third quarter. Depreciation dollars continue to be up slightly because of our ongoing multi-year expansion program.
    Employee retirement plans expense increased 11 percent over last year's quarter because of the increase in the number of participants who qualify for the plan and our higher salary base.
    Interest expense in 1991's third quarter was $4.0 million versus $4.8 million.  Long-term debt interest expense declined primarily because a number of our borrowings have interest rates tied to prime which is lower than a year ago. Short-term interest expense is less than last year.
    The income tax rate in the quarter is up over last year's third quarter. First, because of favorable IRS settlements we received in 1990 which lowered our tax rate in 1990's third quarter. Secondly, the income tax rate is up  because of expected increases in state income taxes. The income tax rate for fiscal 1991 is projected to be approximately 31 percent.
    INVENTORY
    Inventory was $552.3 million at quarter's end representing 40 percent of total assets. It was up 11 percent in dollars compared to last year's inventory level, but less than the 12 percent sales gain. This planned and controlled increase is representative of our strategic plan to expand our merchandise offering, particularly in our family of larger stores.
    EXPANSION
    Our third quarter expansion included four relocations and one new store, representing a total of 252,484 square feet of incremental retail space. Therefore, we ended the quarter with 7,478,221 square feet of total selling space in 308 stores compared to 6,712,982 square feet in 305 stores at the end of the third quarter in 1990.
    At the close of the third quarter we have 55 stores in excess of 40,000 square feet, representing 3.1 million square feet or 42 percent of total sales space. This compares to 39 stores exceeding 40,000 square feet at the end of the third quarter in 1990, or 2.2 million square feet, representing 32 percent of total sales space.
    There are twelve store projects slated for the fourth quarter of 1991. Four of the twelve projects are open. At the current rate, we should have 22 completed large store projects by the close of the year representing approximately 1 million square feet of incremental space.
    Continuing our commitment to revitalize Lowe's with larger stores, our expansion plans for 1992 envision about 30 large store projects representing approximately 1.75 million square feet of incremental space. At this point we will have between 90 and 100 new larger stores, in strategic locations, and a total sales floor investment of between 9.5 and 10.0 million square feet of retail space.
    HOUSING START TRENDS
    At the time of this release, we have housing start data through September 1991. Year-to-date total starts in our 20-state trading area are down 11 percent. Single family starts are down 5 percent and multi- family starts have declined 36 percent. Our contractor sales per start are up 3 percent, year-to-date. In the month of September total starts were up 3 percent single family increased 17 percent and multi-family starts declined 46 percent.
    REGIONAL SALES ACTIVITY
    In the third quarter, retail sales were up in 19 states out of our 20-state trading area and 15 of the states reported double-digit sales gains with the strongest percent gains from West Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Missouri and Illinois. Contractor sales declined in 7 states. We had double-digit contractor sales gains in Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
    STOCK REPURCHASE
    On October 21, 1991, we announced that Lowe's Board of Directors authorized the expenditure of up to $50,000,000 for the purchase of Lowe's common stock in the open market through May 29, 1992. According to Robert L. Strickland, Chairman, the directors authorized the stock purchases because they believe Lowe's stock is undervalued in the market and Lowe's desires to acquire common stock for general corporate purposes. As of October 31, 1991, 75,002 shares had been repurchased at a cost of $1.9 million or an average of $24.92 per share.
    Corporate contacts: W. Cliff Oxford or Clarissa S. Felts 919-651-4631 or 919-651-4254.
    Consolidated Condensed Statements of Current and Retained Earnings
    Lowe's Companies, Inc. and Subsidiary Companies
    Dollars In Thousands, Except Per Share Data
                                  Three months ended
                          October 31, 1991      October 31, 1990
    Current Earnings       Amount   Percent      Amount   Percent
    Net sales               $790,274    100.00    $708,124    100.00
    Cost of sales            601,789     76.15     533,373     75.32
    Gross margin             188,485     23.85     174,751     24.68
    Expenses:
    Selling, general
       and administrative    143,030      18.09     130,191    18.38
    Depreciation              14,471       1.83      13,105     1.85
    Employee retirement
        plans                  7,797       0.99       7,005     0.99
    Interest                   4,019       0.51       4,786     0.68
    Total expenses           169,317      21.42     155,087    21.90
    Pre-tax earnings          19,168       2.43      19,664     2.78
    Income tax provision       6,176       0.79       5,583     0.79
    Net earnings             $12,992       1.64     $14,081     1.99
    Shares outstanding
       (weighted average)     36,543                 37,390
    Earnings per share         $0.36                  $0.38
    Retained earnings
    Balance at
       beginning of period   $522,215              $539,235
    Net earnings               12,992                14,081
    Cash dividends             (5,109)               (4,832)
    Retirement of
        Common Stock           (1,485)              (48,911)
    Balance at
        end of period        $528,613              $499,573
     See accompanying notes to consolidated condensed financial statements and  accountant's review report.
                                     Nine months ended
                         October 31, 1991      October 31, 1990
    Current Earnings     Amount    Percent       Amount  Percent
    Net sales          $2,346,634   100.00     $2,247,084   100.00
    Cost of sales       1,781,915    75.93      1,696,813    75.51
    Gross margin          564,719    24.07        550,271    24.49
    Expenses:
    Selling, general
       and administrative 415,675    17.72        385,648    17.16
    Depreciation           42,695     1.82         37,758     1.68
    Employee retirement
       plans               22,793     0.97         20,891     0.93
    Interest               11,683     0.50         12,707     0.57
    Total expenses        492,846    21.01        457,004    20.34
    Pre-tax earnings       71,873     3.06         93,267     4.15
    Income tax provision   22,121     0.94         27,244     1.21
    Net earnings          $49,752     2.12        $66,023     2.94
    Shares outstanding
        (weighted average) 36,538                  37,440
    Earnings per share      $1.36                   $1.76
    Retained earnings
    Balance at
       beginning of period $495,265               $497,018
    Net earnings             49,752                 66,023
    Cash dividends          (14,919)               (14,557)
    Retirement of
       Common Stock          (1,485)               (48,911)
    Balance at
       end of period       $528,613               $499,573
    See accompanying notes to consolidated condensed financial statements and accountant's review report.
          Consolidated Condensed Statements of Cash Flows
          Lowe's Companies, Inc. and Subsidiary Companies
                        Dollars in Thousands
                 For the nine months ended October 31
                                            1991             1990
    Cash flows from operating activities:
        Net Earnings                     $49,752          $66,023
        Adjustments to reconcile Net Earnings
           to net cash provided by (used in)
           operating activities:
        Depreciation                      42,695           37,758
        Deferred Income Taxes             (1,458)           1,294
        Loss on Disposition of
            Fixed and Other Assets         1,294              776
        Cash flow from operations (A)     92,283          105,851
        Changes in assets and liabilities:
          Accounts Receivable-Net        (37,176)         (14,673)
          Merchandise Inventory          (91,514)         (90,394)
          Accounts Payable                47,500          (24,024)
          Employee Retirement Plans        1,713           (2,353)
          Other Current Assets            (6,006)          (1,376)
          Other Current Liabilities       29,482           19,791
        Net cash provided by (used in)
           operating activities           36,282           (7,178)
     Cash flows from
        investing activities:
            Fixed Assets Acquired        (83,752)         (68,752)
            Proceeds from the Sale of
               Fixed and Other Assets      3,066            4,521
            Short-term investments         2,707                0
            Other Long Term Assets        (1,272)          (2,339)
      Net cash used in
            investing activities         (79,251)         (66,570)
     Cash flows from
        financing activities:
       Sources:
            Net Short-Term Borrowings      60,706          107,696
            Stock Options Exercised           557            5,977
            Total financing sources        61,263          113,673
       Uses:
          Repayment of Long-term Debt      (7,819)         (10,093)
          Cash Dividends                  (14,919)         (14,557)
          Common Stock Purchased
             for Retirement                (1,869)         (15,566)
          Common Stock Purchased
             for ESOP Contribution             0           (2,650)
          Total financing uses           (24,607)         (42,866)
        Net cash provided by
            financing activities          36,656           70,807
        Net decrease in cash
            and cash equivalents          (6,313)          (2,941)
        Cash and cash equivalents
           beginning of period            15,034           55,566
        Cash and cash equivalents
           end of period                  $8,721          $52,625
     (A)Before adjustments for changes in related operating assets and operating liabilities.
     See accompanying notes to consolidated condensed financial statements and accountants' review report.
              Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheets
           Lowe's Companies, Inc and Subsidiary Companies
                        Dollars in Thousands
                                             October 31,
                                          1991         1990
    Assets
    Current assets:
    Accounts receivable - net              $133,530      $136,570
    Merchandise inventory                   552,318       498,071
    Cash and other                           56,300        65,086
    Total current assets                    742,148       699,727
    Net fixed assets                        583,064       535,228
    Other assets                             44,073        47,941
    Total assets                         $1,369,285    $1,282,896
    Liabilities
    Current liabilities:
    Notes payable                          $133,357      $120,167
    Accounts payable                        234,360       186,173
    Other                                   118,701        99,829
    Total current liabilities               486,418       406,169
    Long-term debt                          145,473       161,898
    Deferred income taxes                    21,201        27,394
    Total liabilities                       653,092       595,461
    Shareholders' equity                    716,193       687,435
    Total liabilities
       and shareholders' equity          $1,369,285    $1,282,896
     See accompanying notes to consolidated condensed financial statements.
             Lowe's Companies, Inc. and Subsidiary Companies
          Notes to Consolidated Condensed Financial Statements
    Note  1:  In the opinion of management, the accompanying consolidated condensed financial statements (unaudited) contain all adjustments necessary to present fairly the financial position as of October 31, 1991 and the results of operations for the three-month and nine-month periods ended October 31, 1991 and 1990, and the cash flows for the nine-month periods ended October 31, 1991 and 1990.
    Note  2:  The results of operations for the nine-month periods ended October 31, 1991 and 1990 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the full year.
    Note  3:  Interest and loan expense is net of interest income of $965,000 and $989,000 for the three-month periods ended October 31, 1991 and 1990, and $2,590,000 and $3,057,000 for the nine-month periods ended October 31, 1991 and 1990.  In addition, interest on construction in progress was capitalized in the amount of $454,000 and $268,000 for the three-month periods ended October 31, 1991 and 1990, and $776,000 and $926,000 for the nine-month periods ended October 31, 1991 and 1990.
    Note  4:  If the FIFO method of inventory accounting had been used, inventories would have been $34,441,000 higher at October 31, 1991 and $36,818,000 higher at October 31, 1990.
    Note  5:  Stock options exercised consisted of 3,000 shares resulting in proceeds of $63,000 for the three-month period ended October 31, 1991, and 25,100 and 269,965 shares resulting in proceeds of $558,000 and $5,987,000 for the nine-month periods ended October 31, 1991 and 1990, respectively.  There were no stock options exercised in the three-month period ended October 31, 1990.
    Note  6:  Property is shown net of accumulated depreciation of $269,216,000 at October 31, 1991 and $227,736,000 at October 31, 1990.
    Note  7:  Supplemental disclosures of cash flow information:
    Nine months ended October 31                     1991        1990
    Cash paid for interest (net of capitalized)  $15,182,000  16,664,000
    Cash paid for income taxes                    16,792,000   5,019,000
    Fixed assets acquired by like kind exchange    2,248,000           0
    Fixed assets acquired under capital leases     2,588,000   3,537,000
    Notes received in exchange for property          815,000   5,434,000
    Stock contributed to ESOP                              0   2,650,000
    Treasury stock received for exercise of
       stock options                                       0      10,000
    Note  8:  In September 1990, the Board of Directors approved up to $65 million for a stock repurchase program, pri 1991 contribution to the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), with the remaining $50 million allocated to repurchase stock to be retired (authorized but unissued). The first 401,000 shares were repurchased at a cost of $8.2 million and were retired.  Subsequent repurchases have been at a ratio of 26.4 percent allocated to the ESOP and 73.6 percent retired.  At January 31, 1991, 1,306,300 shares had been repurchased at a cost of $26.5 million or an average of $20.29 per share.  Of these shares repurchased, 238,920 shares, at a cost of $4.8 million, had been contributed to the ESOP. The remaining contribution to the ESOP for Fiscal 1991 is being made by cash contribution to the Trustee.  There were no purchases under this program during the nine-month period ended October 31, 1991. The program expired on September 9, 1991.
    In October 1991, the Board of Directors authorized the expenditure of up to $50 million for the purchase, primarily in the open market, of the Company's common stock.  The stock will be retired (authorized but unissued).  As of October 31, 1991, 75,002 shares had been repurchased at a cost of $1.9 million or an average of $24.92 per share.  This program will expire on May 29, 1992.
           LOWE'S COMPANIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES
                 1 QUARTERLY EARNINGS STATEMENTS
                       Dollars in thousands
    QUARTER ENDED    10/31/91  07/31/91  04/30/91  01/31/91  10/31/90
    NET SALES       $790,274  $863,009  $693,351  $586,024  $708,124
    FIFO GROSS
     MARGIN          187,881   209,110   168,644   149,115   174,751
    LIFO
     CREDIT (CHARGE)     604      (294)   (1,226)    3,294         0
    LIFO GROSS
     MARGIN          188,485   208,816   167,418   152,409   174,751
    EXPENSES:
    S,G & A          143,030   146,337   126,308   120,270   130,191
    DEPRECIATION      14,471    14,258    13,966    13,673    13,105
    EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT
       PLANS           7,797     8,145     6,851     6,770     7,005
    INTEREST           4,019     3,801     3,863     4,712     4,786
    TOTAL EXPENSES   169,317   172,541   150,988   145,425   155,087
    PRE-TAX EARNINGS  19,168    36,275    16,430     6,984    19,664
    INCOME TAX
     PROVISION         6,176    10,991     4,954     1,920     5,583
    NET EARNINGS      12,992    25,284    11,476     5,064    14,081
    EARNINGS PER
     SHARE             $0.36     $0.69     $0.31     $0.14     $0.38
               2 QUARTERLY EARNINGS STATEMENT CHANGES
    Changes from same quarter previous year, to nearest tenth percent
    (In percent)
    QUARTER ENDED     10/31/91  07/31/91  04/30/91  01/31/91  10/31/90
    NET SALES           11.6       5.5      -3.8      -2.3       0.8
    FIFO GROSS MARGIN    7.5       2.8      -3.4       3.4       3.2
    LIFO CREDIT
     (CHARGE)          100.0     -74.9     -14.4     -77.1    -100.0
    LIFO GROSS MARGIN    7.9       3.2      -3.3       4.3       3.8
    EXPENSES:
    S,G & A              9.9       7.3       6.1       9.3      12.2
    DEPRECIATION        10.4      14.2      14.7      10.6      12.2
    EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT
       PLANS            11.3       8.6       7.3      12.5      10.4
    INTEREST           -16.0      -8.2       2.2      19.9       1.6
    TOTAL EXPENSES       9.2       7.5       6.8       9.9      11.8
    PRE-TAX EARNINGS    -2.5     -13.3     -48.3     -49.3     -33.6
    INCOME TAX
     PROVISION          10.6      -7.5     -49.4     -47.3     -40.2
    NET EARNINGS        -7.7     -15.6     -47.8     -50.0     -30.6
           3 QUARTERLY EARNINGS STATEMENT PERCENTAGES
    Percent of sales to nearest hundredth; income tax is percent of pre- tax earnings (In percent)
    QUARTER ENDED     10/31/91  07/31/91  04/30/91  01/31/91  10/31/90
    NET SALES          100.00    100.00    100.00    100.00    100.00
    FIFO GROSS MARGIN   23.77     24.23     24.33     25.45     24.68
    LIFO CREDIT
     (CHARGE)            0.08     -0.03     -0.18      0.56      0.00
    LIFO GROSS MARGIN   23.85     24.20     24.15     26.01     24.68
    EXPENSES:
    S,G & A             18.09     16.97     18.22     20.53     18.38
    DEPRECIATION         1.83      1.65      2.01      2.33      1.85
    EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT
       PLANS             0.99      0.94      0.99      1.16      0.99
    INTEREST             0.51      0.44      0.56      0.80      0.68
    TOTAL EXPENSES      21.42     20.00     21.78     24.82     21.90
    PRE-TAX EARNINGS     2.43      4.20      2.37      1.19      2.78
    INCOME TAX
     PROVISION          32.22     30.30     30.15     27.49     28.39
    NET EARNINGS         1.64      2.93      1.66      0.86      1.99
           LOWE'S COMPANIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES
                4 CONDENSED QUARTERLY BALANCE SHEETS
                        Dollars in millions
    QUARTER ENDED     10/31/91  07/31/91  04/30/91  01/31/91  10/31/90
    ASSETS:
    INVENTORY          $552.3    $494.2    $517.1    $460.8    $498.1
    RECEIVABLES         133.5     133.4     118.0      96.4     136.6
    FIXED ASSETS        583.1     564.4     546.6     541.5     535.2
    ALL OTHER           100.4      93.6     110.9     104.4     113.0
    TOTAL            $1,369.3  $1,285.6  $1,292.6  $1,203.1  $1,282.9
    EQUITY AND  LIABILITIES:
    EQUITY             $716.2    $710.1    $689.6    $682.7    $687.4
    PAYABLES            234.4     221.8     238.2     186.9     186.2
    DEBT                278.8     220.0     233.8     223.4     282.1
    ALL OTHER           139.9     133.7     131.0     110.1     127.2
    TOTAL            $1,369.3  $1,285.6  $1,292.6  $1,203.1  $1,282.9
                    5 QUARTERLY BALANCE SHEET CHANGES
    Changes from same quarter previous year, to nearest whole percent
    (In Percent)
    QUARTER ENDED     10/31/91  07/31/91  04/30/91  01/31/91  10/31/90
    ASSETS:
    INVENTORY            11        -2         0        13        13
    RECEIVABLES          -2        -7       -14       -21        -8
    FIXED ASSETS          9         7         6         7         4
    ALL OTHER           -11       -16        23        -5       157
    TOTAL                 7        -0         3         5        12
    EQUITY AND LIABILITIES:
    EQUITY                4         2         4         6         7
    PAYABLES             26         6        -2       -11         1
    DEBT                 -1       -14         7        24        41
    ALL OTHER            10         3        -3        -1         5
    TOTAL                 7        -0         3         5        12
               6 QUARTERLY BALANCE SHEET COMPONENT PERCENTAGES
                     To nearest whole percent (In percent)
    QUARTER ENDED     10/31/91  07/31/91  04/30/91  01/31/91  10/31/90
    ASSETS:
    INVENTORY           40        38        40        38        39
    RECEIVABLES         10        10         9         8        11
    FIXED ASSETS        43        44        42        45        42
    ALL OTHER            7         8         9         9         8
    TOTAL              100       100       100       100       100
    EQUITY AND LIABILITIES:
    EQUITY              52        55        53        57        54
    PAYABLES            17        17        18        16        15
    DEBT                20        17        18        19        22
    ALL OTHER           11        11        11         8         9
    TOTAL              100       100       100       100       100
         Cash Flow Statement Summary
         Dollars in Thousands
                     9 Months  6 Months  3 Months     Year   9 Months
                       Ended     Ended     Ended     Ended     Ended
                     10/31/91  07/31/91  04/30/91  01/31/91  10/31/90
     Our Cash
      Requirements
      for the Period
      Were:
     Net Cash
      (Invested In)
      Provided by
      Current Assets
      & Current
      Liabilities:   ($56,001) ($15,021)  ($7,070) ($44,293)($113,029)
     Combined with
     Net Cash
     Invested in
     Fixed Assets:    (81,958)  (50,987)  (18,566)  (82,867)  (66,570)
     Combined with
     Gross Cash
      Used in
      Financing
      Activities:     (24,607)  (14,999)   (6,910)  (59,653)  (42,866)
     Equals
     Cash Needed for
        the Period:  ($162,566) ($81,007) $32,546)($186,813)($222,465)
     These Cash
      Needs were
      Financed
      Through:
     Net Earnings
      Adjusted
      for Non-Cash
      Charges:        $92,283   $65,274   $25,465  $123,467  $105,851
      Borrowings:      60,706     1,850    12,678    51,920   107,696
     Equity Capital:      557       494       139     6,004     5,977
     Use of Cash
      on Hand and
      Short-Term
      Investments:     9,020    13,389    (5,736)    5,422     2,941
     Total Sources: $162,566   $81,007   $32,546  $186,813  $222,465
     Cash, Cash
      Equivalents
      and Short-Term
      Investments,
      End of Period: $41,124   $36,755   $55,880   $50,144   $52,625
                 LOWE'S ANNOUNCES WEEKLY SALES
   Lowe's sales for the first week of November 1991 totaled $59.6 million, a 20 percent increase over the first week of November 1990. Sales to retail customers increased 25 percent and sales to contractors increased 12 percent.
     Week Ended:         Pct.    Nov. 8, 1991      Nov. 9, 1990
                         Change    Sales   Pct. Mix  Sales   Pct. Mix
     Retail Sales        +25       $ 39.9     67     $ 32.0     65
     Contractor Sales    +12       $ 19.7     33     $ 17.6     35
     Total Sales         +20       $ 59.6    100     $ 49.6    100
     Rounded totals, millions of dollars
    Lowe's monthly sales report series will continue to summarize four- week, four-week, and five-week totals, including comparable store sales results. Lowe's quarterly news releases of sales and earnings will continue to present precise calendar totals.
    Lowe's is a specialty retailer serving the home center do-it- yourself business, the consumer durables business, and the building contractor business. Lowe's operates 308 stores in 20 states.
    -0-                    11/12/91
    /CONTACT:  Corporate contacts - W. Cliff Oxford or Clarissa S. Felts, Lowe's Companies, Inc., 919-651-4631 or 919-651-4254/
    (LOW) CO:  Lowe's Companies, Inc. ST:  North Carolina IN:  REA SU:  ERN CM-DF -- CH008 -- 3674 11/12/91 17:48 EST
COPYRIGHT 1991 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 12, 1991
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