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Lowe’s posts double-digit earnings growth

BY Ken Clark

On Wednesday morning, it was Lowe’s turn to deliver strong quarterly earnigns.

And the Mooresville, North Carolina-based retail giant did just that. The company reported net earnings of $1.04 billion for the quarter ended Aug. 1, marking a 10.4% increase over the second quarter last year. Sales for the quarter were up 5.7% to $16.6 billion, as comparable-store sales were up 4.4%.

"We were able to recover most of the outdoor product sales missed in the first quarter due to unfavorable weather conditions," said Robert Niblock, president and CEO.

Lowe’s released its results one day after rival Home Depot reported a strong quarter, including a 5.8% comp-store gain.

For Lowe’s, the expectation is that home improvement spending will continue to grow in concert with job and income growth. The company’s forecast for earnings per share remains unchanged, but Lowe’s made a "modest reduction" to its sales outlook for the year, based partly on year-to-date performance. For the year, total sales are expected to increase about 4.5%, as comps are expected to increase about 3.5%

The company operated 1,837 home improvement and hardware stores as of Aug. 1, representing 200.8 million square feet of retail space.

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Benjamin Moore opens new West Coast DC

BY HBSDealer Staff

Benjamin Moore & Co. is buffing up its West Coast presence with the opening of a new distribution center in Oakland, California.

The Oakland DC — what is now known as the Goodman Logistics Center — will support the full line of Benjamin Moore products and will eventually serve as the key distribution center for retailers and distributors in the Asia Pacific region.

Benjamin Moore also announced plans to expand its operations in the Southeast later this year, as well as in the Mid-Atlantic region by mid-2015.

“Benjamin Moore & Co.’s business continues to grow, and with it the demand for increased distribution and fulfillment operations to deliver our best in class products to our network of independent retailers and customers,” said Mike Searles, president and CEO of Benjamin Moore & Co. “We’re committed to being the best partner for our retailers in every way and with this new distribution center customers can expect to see many new Benjamin Moore stores opening.”

The Goodman Logistics Center is a nearly 375,000-sq.-ft. facility providing Class A industrial warehouse space. It will be leased to Benjamin Moore by Goodman Birtcher North America on behalf of the owner, Goodman North American Partnership.

“Benjamin Moore & Co. is a welcomed addition to Oakland’s vibrant business community which will generate jobs for our residents,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “With the facility’s central location in Oakland, Benjamin Moore & Co. will have unparalleled connections to port, rail and highway systems.”

The center is also Benjamin Moore’s first Silver LEED certified site. The new facility is set to open by early 2015.

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TRI Pointe moves into 7 new communities

BY HBSDealer Staff

Not long after its $2.8 billion merger with Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (WRECO), TRI Pointe is making a significant expansion in the form of 649 lots throughout seven new communities in California, Nevada, Washington state and Virginia.

“As was our practice before the merger with WRECO, TRI Pointe employs a disciplined land strategy with a focus on acquiring lots in prime locations along major transportation and employment centers,” TRI Pointe CEO Douglas Bauer said. “With the merger complete, we are an even more well-capitalized company with the ability to generate substantial cash flow and profits from homebuilding as well as strategic land sales for many years to come. These most recent acquisitions will help us build on the strong foundation we have established and drive long-term growth.”

The newly acquired lots are located in Irvine, Corona and Hansen Village in California; Clark County in Nevada; Lacey and Redmond in Washington; and Prince William County in Virginia.

TRI Pointe is now one of the 10 largest public homebuilders in the country by equity market capitalization. The move has placed its land inventory at a total of 31,000 owned or controlled lots, 19,000 of which are located in California.

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