Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 20, 2020 • 09:00 am ET


Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning everyone and welcome to the Lowe's Companies' First Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Michelle and I will be your operator for today's call. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I will now turn the call over to Kate Pearlman, Vice President of Investor Relations. Thank you. You may begin.

Kate Pearlman

Thank you, and good morning, everyone. Here with me today are Marvin Ellison, our President and Chief Executive Officer; Bill Boltz, our Executive Vice President, Merchandising; Joe McFarland, our Executive Vice President Stores; and Dave Denton, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

I would like to remind you that our notice regarding forward-looking statements is included in our press release this morning, which can be found on Lowe's Investor Relations website. During this call, we will be making comments that are forward-looking, including our expectations for fiscal 2020. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied as a result of various risks, uncertainties and important factors, including those discussed in the Risk Factors, MD&A and other sections of our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our other SEC filings. Additionally, we will be discussing certain non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation of these items to US GAAP can be found in this morning's press release and on our Investor Relations website.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Marvin.

Marvin R. Ellison

Good morning, everyone. This is an unprecedented time as we all navigate the ongoing global economic social and health impacts of COVID-19. I'd like to start-out by extending my best wishes for the health and safety to you and to your family. Like most retailers, we began the first quarter focused on meeting our internal financial plan, while executing our Q1 retail strategy. However, due to the global health crisis caused by COVID-19, everything changed in late February. And we immediately pivoted by establishing a cross-functional COVID-19 task force, opening a company-wide Command Center and re-prioritizing our Q1 objective.

As a company, our focus shifted from running a business to achieve our financial plan to functioning as an essential retailer operating in a pandemic with three key priorities; first, creating a safe store environment for our associates and our customers; second, providing support for our community, including healthcare providers and first responders and third, financially, supporting our associates during this unprecedented time. As a result of these new priorities in the first quarter, we invested $340 million to support our associates, healthcare workers, first responders and community. In addition, we committed $50 million of charitable contribution for our communities to do our part in this time of need.

I'd like to begin by highlighting a few of the operational actions that we took in response to COVID-19. And later in the call, Joe will provide more details on these efforts. In early March, we shortened our store operating hours by closing three hours earlier, each day at 7:00 p.m, so we could increase third-party cleaning routines and restock shelves. During the hours