MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe’s Companies, Inc. today reported net earnings of $1.9 billion and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.73 for the quarter ended October 29, 2021 compared to net earnings of $692 million and diluted EPS of $0.91 in the third quarter of 2020. Excluding charges in the prior-year period related to the extinguishment of debt, third quarter diluted EPS of $2.73 increased 38% from adjusted diluted EPS of $1.98 in the third quarter of 20201.
Total sales for the third quarter were $22.9 billion compared to $22.3 billion in the third quarter of 2020, and comparable sales increased 2.2%. Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 2.6% for the third quarter.
For the seventh consecutive quarter, 100% of Lowe’s stores earned a Winning Together profit-sharing bonus, resulting in an expected total payout of $138 million to front-line hourly associates. This payment is $70 million above the target level.
“Our momentum continued this quarter, with U.S. sales comps up nearly 34% on a two-year basis, as our Total Home strategy is resonating with the Pro and DIY customer alike. In the quarter, we drove over 16% growth in Pro and 25% on Lowes.com. We also delivered operating margin expansion by driving productivity through disciplined operational execution and cost management,” commented Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “I would like to thank our front-line associates for their ongoing dedication to outstanding customer service. Looking forward, I remain confident in our ability to drive further market share gains, operating margin expansion, and long-term value for our shareholders.”
With a disciplined focus on its robust capital allocation program, the Company continues to create sustainable value for its shareholders. During the quarter, the Company repurchased 13.7 million shares for $2.9 billion and paid $563 million in dividends. Given its better-than-expected performance, the Company 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. This incremental share repurchase is consistent with the Company’s long-term commitment to returning excess capital to shareholders.
As of October 29, 2021, Lowe’s operated 1,973 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States and Canada representing 208 million square feet of retail selling space, and it serviced approximately 230 dealer-owned stores.
Lowe’s Business Outlook
The Company delivered very strong financial results through the first three quarters of 2021, with sales momentum continuing into November. While the business environment remains uncertain, the Company is once again raising its outlook for the operating results of Full Year Fiscal 2021.
Full Year 2021 Financial Outlook (comparisons to full year 2020)
- Revenue of approximately $95 billion, representing approximately 33% comparable sales growth on a two-year basis.
- Gross margin rate up slightly, compared to prior year.
- Operating income as a percentage of sales (operating margin) of 12.4%.
- Total share repurchases of approximately $12 billion.
- For Fiscal 2021, the Company expects capital expenditures of up to $2 billion.