Home improvement retailer Lowes (LOW) reported earnings yesterday and whether you want to credit easier comps or operating efficiency, the numbers themselves were better than expected. The tone of the conference call was more upbeat than what anyone would’ve expected.
We’re still gonna have some fun with it.
This is the Remix…
Operator: Good morning, everyone and welcome to Lowe’s Companies’ first quarter 2009 earnings conference call. Hosting Grudgingly enduring today’s conference will be Mr. Robert Niblock, Chairman and CEO.
CEO Robert Niblock: Good morning and thanks for your interest in patience with Lowe’s.
While the external environment remains challenging, a sh#tshow, I believe our first quarter results represent a solid performance in a tough environment…For the quarter…comp store sales declined 6.6%. However, we continued to capture significant market share kick Home Depot’s ass during the quarter.
According to third-party measures voodoo data collection, Lowe’s gained 160 basis points of unit market share in the first calendar quarter.
Based on market level dynamics our first taste of common sense, we have slowed halted our store opening plans in 2008 and 2009.
As we contemplate bitch and moan about macroeconomic conditions and our outlook, clearly the sales environment remains challenging apocalyptic, evidenced by our 11th consecutive quarter of negative comps (wow, almost 3 years of suckage!) . And the greatest weakness remains in bigger ticket profitable discretionary projects…As weather warmed, we saw many consumers “layoffistas” take on traditional outdoor projects.
Another trend we are watching…is a resurgence of DIY, or do-it-yourself. Through the late 90s (Boomtimes!) and the first half of this decade (Even Boomier!), we experienced significant growth in the DIFM, or do-it-for-me segment of our business. Consumers had borrowed the cash but not the time or the inclination skill to take on many projects around the house and they increasingly wanted someone else illegal immigrants to tackle the more difficult projects.
Throughout this downturn economic abortion as consumers’ net worth eroded vaporized and their concerns about the future escalated, they have increasingly become more disciplined un-American in their spending. As a result, many homeowners evict-ees have gone back to doing some of the things they previously relied on others to do spending money they actually have.
Mr. Niblock, I hope you weren’t offended, I actually think you’ve done a better job than most retailers during the crisis. Just remember, when things look their darkest, you can take comfort in the fact that, hey, at least you don’t work at Sears!
Full Transcript: Lowes Conf Call (Seeking Alpha)
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Full Disclosure: I currently manage customer accounts that are long LOW and HD.