Net earnings surge at Lowe’s in Q3
Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s reported a solid third quarter, with sizable gains in earnings and sales.
The company’s net earnings increased 26.0% to $499 million. Sales for the quarter jumped 7.3% to $13.0 billion, up from $12.1 billion in the year ago quarter. Comparable sales for the quarter increased 6.2%.
"This balanced performance resulted from our improved collaboration and execution within a strengthening home improvement market, combined with our employees’ hard work and continued dedication to serving customers," said Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO.
"The home improvement industry is poised for persisting growth in the fourth quarter and further acceleration in 2014," Niblock added.
Lowe’s sales gains followed by one day the third-quarter report from rival Home Depot, which reported sales gains of 7.4%
The company said it expects to open nine stores in fiscal year 2013, a year in which it expects comparable-store sales to increase about 5%.
Despite the solid numbers posted by Lowe’s, shares of the company dropped on Wall Street over its slightly lower-than-expected earnings per share numbers.
At the end of the quarter, Lowe’s operated 1,831 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 200.1 million sq. ft. of retail selling space.
Told you so: NRF applauds tax study
The National Retail Federation (NRF) issued a statement in support of a new government study analyzing the impact of the small seller exemption in current online sales tax legislation.
NRF senior VP David French said the report shows the lack of a level playing field.
“This objective, non-partisan and peer-reviewed academic analysis and report from the Small Business Administration confirms what local retailers have been saying for decades: The lack of a level playing field between brick-and-mortar stores and their online and remote competitors is blatantly uneven and unfair, and continues to place them at a competitive disadvantage,” he said.
In his statement released Tuesday, French added: “The $24 billion sales tax gap, which is expected to grow with the rise of online shopping, will continue to disadvantage local retailers and employers, threaten Main Street communities and neighborhoods, and put additional policy and political pressure on state and local officials to increase non-sales tax revenue, like property or income taxes, to compensate for the growth in online sales.”
He called for Congress to address what he called an “online tax loophole,” and offered support for the Marketplace Fairness Act.