CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- At its annual meeting of shareholders today, Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) Chairman, President and CEO Robert A. Niblock informed shareholders that strategic investments focused on long-term growth and enhancing customer experiences enabled the company to deliver strong financial performance in 2015.
Niblock highlighted the company's continued emphasis on building omni-channel capabilities in order to meet customers whenever and wherever they choose to engage with Lowe's, which was further evidenced in 2015 by the opening of a third contact center located in Indianapolis and two urban stores in Manhattan, as well as the re-launch of LowesforPros.com. The company is also leveraging innovation to enrich customer experiences through new products, services and technologies, all setting the stage for future success as the economic outlook for the home improvement industry remains bright.
"We expect job and income levels to steadily strengthen, creating opportunity for greater discretionary spending among consumers," Niblock said. "And we're prepared to capitalize on this opportunity by delivering better customer experiences through our omni-channel capabilities while remaining committed to improving our productivity and profitability."
In addition, the company announced that the board of directors has declared a 25 percent increase in its quarterly cash dividend to 35 cents per share, payable Aug. 3, 2016, to shareholders of record as of July 20, 2016. Lowe's has declared a cash dividend every quarter since going public in 1961.
During the meeting, shareholders re-elected board members Raul Alvarez, Angela F. Braly, Laurie Z. Douglas, Richard W. Dreiling, Robert L. Johnson, Marshall O. Larsen, James H. Morgan, Robert A. Niblock and Eric C. Wiseman to one-year terms. Sandra B. Cochran, president and chief executive officer of Cracker Barrel, and Bertram L. Scott, senior vice president of Population Health and Value Based Care at Novant Health, were also elected to the board of directors.
Additionally, David W. Bernauer and Richard K. (Dick) Lochridge, who reached the company's mandatory retirement age of 72 during their current terms, retired today from Lowe's board of directors.
"We are grateful to both David and Dick for their service, leadership and dedication to Lowe's," said Niblock. "They have both brought meaningful insights and perspectives to our board."
Shareholders also ratified Deloitte & Touche LLP as the company's independent public accountant, approved the company's 2016 annual incentive plan, and approved, on an advisory basis, the compensation of the company's named executive officers.
Shareholder proposals regarding proxy access and publishing a separate sustainability report were defeated.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). Statements including words such as "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "plan", "desire", "project", "estimate", "intend", "will", "should", "could", "would", "may", "strategy", "potential", "opportunity", and similar expressions are forward looking statements. Forward looking statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, forecasts, assumptions, risk and uncertainties. Forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future financial and operating results, the company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, expectations for sales growth, comparable sales, earnings and performance, shareholder value, capital expenditures, cash flows, the housing market, the home improvement industry, demand for services, share repurchases, the company's strategic initiatives, including the acquisition of RONA inc. ("RONA") and the expected impact of the acquisition of RONA on the company's strategic and operational plans and financial results, and any statement of an assumption underlying any of the foregoing, and other statements that are not historical facts. Although we believe that the expectations, opinions, projections, and comments reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such statements will prove to be correct. A wide variety of potential risks, uncertainties, and other factors could materially affect our ability to achieve the results either expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, changes in general economic conditions, such as the rate of unemployment, interest rate and currency fluctuations, fuel and other energy costs, slower growth in personal income, changes in consumer spending, changes in the rate of housing turnover, the availability of consumer credit and of mortgage financing, inflation or deflation of commodity prices, and other factors that can negatively affect our customers, as well as our ability to: (i) respond to adverse trends in the housing industry, such as a demographic shift from single family to multi-family housing, a reduced rate of growth in household formation, and slower rates of growth in housing renovation and repair activity, as well as uneven recovery in commercial building activity; (ii) secure, develop, and otherwise implement new technologies and processes necessary to realize the benefits of our strategic initiatives focused on omni-channel sales and marketing presence and enhance our efficiency; (iii) attract, train, and retain highly-qualified associates; (iv) manage our business effectively as we adapt our traditional operating model to meet the changing expectations of our customers; (v) maintain, improve, upgrade and protect our critical information systems from data security breaches and other cyber threats; (vi) respond to fluctuations in the prices and availability of services, supplies, and products; (vii) respond to the growth and impact of competition; (viii) address changes in existing or new laws or regulations that affect consumer credit, employment/labor, trade, product safety, transportation/logistics, energy costs, health care, tax or environmental issues; (ix) positively and effectively manage our public image and reputation and respond appropriately to unanticipated failures to maintain a high level of product and service quality that could result in a negative impact on customer confidence and adversely affect sales; and (x) effectively manage our relationships with selected suppliers of brand name products and key vendors and service providers, including third party installers. In addition, we could experience additional impairment losses if the actual results of our operating stores are not consistent with the assumptions and judgments we have made in estimating future cash flows and determining asset fair values or we are required to reduce the carrying amount of our investment in certain unconsolidated entities that are accounted for under the equity method. With respect to the acquisition of RONA, potential risks include the effect of the transaction on Lowe's and RONA's strategic relationships, operating results and businesses generally; our ability to integrate personnel, labor models, financial, IT and other systems successfully; disruption of our ongoing business and distraction of management; hiring additional management and other critical personnel; and increasing the scope, geographic diversity and complexity of our operations; significant transaction costs or unknown liabilities; and failure to realize the expected benefits of the transaction. For more information about these and other risks and uncertainties that we are exposed to, you should read the "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and the description of material changes thereto, if any, included in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or subsequent filings with the SEC.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon data available as of the date of this release or other specified date and speak only as of such date. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf about any of the matters covered in this release are qualified by these cautionary statements and the "Risk Factors" included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and the description of material changes thereto, if any, included in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or subsequent filings with the SEC. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, change in circumstances, future events, or otherwise.
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving more than 17 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2015 sales of $59.1 billion, Lowe's has more than 2,355 home improvement and hardware stores and 285,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.
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SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc.