Lowe’s Cos. reported a strong third quarter amid increased sales from online and home professionals.
The home improvement retailer reported that its earnings totaled $1.90 billion, or $2.73 per share, in the quarter ended Oct. 29, up from $692 million, or $0.91 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected $2.35 per share.
Net sales rose 2.7% to $22.92 billion, topping analysts’ expectations of $22.08 billion. Same-store U.S. sales rose 2.2% over last year and nearly 34% on a two-year basis.
Lowe’s reported its results the day after rival The Home Depot reported strong third-quarter earnings and sales. Both retailers are benefitting from the ongoing boom in from home renovation projects.
“In the quarter, we drove over 16% growth in Pro and 25% on Lowes.com.,” said chairman, president and CEO Marvin R. Ellison. “We also delivered operating margin expansion by driving productivity through disciplined operational execution and cost management. Looking forward, I remain confident in our ability to drive further market share gains, operating margin expansion, and long-term value for our shareholders."
Under Ellison, Lowe’s has accelerated its efforts to attract more professional customers, rolling out an enhanced experience created specifically for them. The company noted the Pro customer shops at Lowe's “significantly more” often regular customers.
Lowe’s noted that, for the seventh consecutive quarter, all of its Lowe's stores earned a profit-sharing bonus, resulting in an expected total payout of $138 million to front-line hourly employees. The payment is $70 million above the target level.
For fiscal 2021, Lowe’s raised its revenue outlook to "approximately $95 billion" from "approximately $92 billion."
Separately, the retailer said it repurchased $2.9 billion worth of its stock during the third quarter.
Citing its “better-than-expected performance,” Lowe’s said it now plans to repurchase approximately $3 billion in shares in the fourth quarter, bringing the expected total share repurchases for the year to approximately $12 billion.
As of October 29, Lowe's operated 1,973 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States and Canada, and serviced approximately 230 dealer-owned stores.