Comparable store sales for the third quarter increased 1.8 percent on a consolidated basis as well as for the U.S. business. For the nine month period, comparable store sales increased 1.3 percent, while comparable store sales for the U.S. business increased 1.4 percent. Comparable store sales are based on comparable 13-week periods.
“We are keenly focused on improving our core business,” commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “Our level of execution is improving and we delivered solid results in the third quarter. I would like to thank our employees for their continued dedication and customer focus.
“I would also like to express our sympathy for all those impacted by the devastating effects of superstorm Sandy,” Niblock added. “Our employees are working diligently to help communities recover from the damage. Additionally, our stores as well as lowes.com are official donation sites for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, and Lowe’s is contributing $1 million to the relief efforts through various partner organizations.”
Delivering on the commitment to return excess cash to shareholders, the company repurchased $850 million or 29.6 million shares of stock and paid $184 million in dividends in the third quarter. For the nine month period, the company repurchased $3.6 billion or 124.4 million shares of common stock and paid $524 million in dividends.As of November 2, 2012, Lowe’s operated 1,750 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 197.0 million square feet of retail selling space. A conference call to discuss third quarter 2012 operating results is scheduled for today (Monday, November, 19) at 9:00 am ET. The conference call will be available through a webcast and can be accessed by visiting Lowe’s website at www.Lowes.com/investor and clicking on Lowe’s Third Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call Webcast. A replay of the call will be archived on Lowes.com/investor until February 24, 2013. Lowe’s Business Outlook