Lowe’s strengthened its market position in a solid third quarter, as the home improvement retailer continued to invest in its omnichannel, employee and store initiatives.
The company reported net earnings of $692 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.91 for the third quarter ended October 30, 2020, which included a $1.1 billion pre-tax loss on extinguishment of debt in connection with the company’s third quarter $3.0 billion cash tender offer, compared to net earnings of $1 billion and diluted EPS of $1.36 in the third quarter of 2019. Excluding these charges, third quarter adjusted diluted EPS increased to $1.98 from adjusted diluted EPS of $1.41 in the third quarter of 2019.
Sales for the third quarter were $22.3 billion compared to $17.4 billion in the third quarter of 2019, and comparable sales increased 30.1%. Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 30.4% for the third quarter.
In the third quarter, the company invested $245 million in COVID-related support of frontline hourly associates, bringing its total COVID-related associate financial support to more than $800 million this year. As a reflection of its commitment to supporting its associates and communities, Lowe’s has invested more than $1.1 billion in COVID-related support for its associates, store safety and community pandemic relief through the first nine months of fiscal 2020. For the third quarter in a row, hourly associates at all stores earned their “Winning Together” profit-sharing bonus, which totaled $104 million.
Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO, said, “Strong execution enabled us to meet continued broad-based demand, as we delivered over 15% growth in all merchandising departments, over 20% growth across all geographic regions and triple-digit growth online. We continued to invest in the future growth of the company, including a $100 million investment in the quarter as part of an ongoing effort to reset the layout of our U.S. stores, making them easier to shop with improved product adjacencies, especially for pro customers. Our omnichannel transformation continued in the third quarter with further investments in Lowes.com and our supply chain. I remain confident that we are making the right strategic investments to deliver sustainable, long-term growth. I would also like to thank our outstanding frontline associates for their unwavering commitment to customer service and safety.”