Lowe’s Q1 sales off 4%

On Tuesday May 21, Lowe’s reported its Q1 2024 financial results, announcing that total sales for the quarter were $21.4 billion, that’s a 4 percent drop compared to $22.3 billion in the Q1 2023. The company mentioned decline in DIY big ticket discretionary spending as a predominant factor. Lowe’s noted that the DIY drop was partially offset by positive comparable results in Pro and online sales.


“We are pleased with our start to spring, driven by strong execution and enhanced customer service,” said Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “This quarter we rolled out our new DIY loyalty program nationally, expanded same-day delivery options and took market share in key categories. We continue to gain momentum with our Total Home strategy, reflected in our growth in Pro and online. I would like to thank our frontline associates for their hard work, commitment to customers and disciplined focus on productivity.”

This Infographic gives a visual of Lowe’s Q1 report 

Notes from the investor call

Lowe’s continues to see downward sales pressure on big ticket items; those with retail prices greater than $500, with sales these down 7.6%, according to Brandon Sink, executive V.P. and CFO. That includes appliances, patio items and grills, among other things. Some of this is due to higher interest rates. Growth in the Pro business offsets that somewhat, but overall pressures in the DIY environment. With this expected Pro growth, Sink said that the company expects the overall quantity of sales transactions to increase in the second half of the year, even though individual ticket prices may not increase.

The company is investing a lot of money in supply chain and technology. “We are preparing ourselves, and when the market turns, we will be ready,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “We’re trying to meet the customer where the customer is at.” Ellison mentioned the DIY Loyalty program Lowe’s launched in March. It has focused on enrollment in the early stages. “We could not have done this loyalty program a year ago,” said Ellison, referencing the company’s old operating system. Ellison believes Lowe’s can get additional trips from the customer throughout the year due to this loyalty program. 

Ellison also reiterated the company’s focus on Pro customers. To define that market, Ellison said they are targeting the small to medium-sized pro buyers. “And that is a $200 billion market opportunity,” he said. Ellison expects Lowe’s to grow here, despite what he calls “difficult macro-economic conditions.” 

“We took a different approach to our marketing in Q1,” said Bill Boltz, executive VP, merchandising. He cited a “south to north, geo targeted” focus. While he noted that spring weather presented some challenges, he said, “we got weather favorability in March and we took advantage of that.” 

Boltz added that “the lawn and garden team had really nice results in the first quarter. He said that Lowe’s continues to see both Toro and Ego perform well. “Grass is growing and they’re out buying zero-turn mowers and gas grills.” 

The company is affirming its outlook for full year 2024.

  • Total sales of $84 to $85 billion
  • Comparable sales expected to be down -2 to -3% as compared to prior year
  • Operating income as a percentage of sales (operating margin) of 12.6% to 12.7%
  • Interest expense of approximately $1.4 billion
  • Effective income tax rate of approximately 25%
  • Diluted earnings per share of approximately $12.00 to $12.30
  • Capital expenditures of approximately $2 billion

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