Founded in 1921 by Lucius Smith Lowe, Lowe’s Companies Inc. is a leading home improvement retailer headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, US. The company operates over 2200 stores in the US and Canada, selling products and services that help their customers to decorate, maintain, repair, or remodel their homes.
Their customers range from retail DIY (do-it-yourself) and DIFM (do-it-for-me) customers as well as professional clients, such as contractors and workmen. The range of product categories include Appliances, Kitchens and Bath, Windows and Doors, Paint, Flooring, Rough Plumbing, Seasonal and Outdoor Living, Lawn and Garden, Lighting, Electricals, Lumber, Millwork, Building Materials, and Electricals.
Lowe’s now serves over 20 million customers per week, making the company the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world, behind only Home Depot as of September 2021. The company started out as just another hardware store in America’s main street. Lowe’s initial focus was on building materials, with the company particularly experiencing immense growth in the aftermath of World War II. But the slump in construction activity during the late 1970s saw the company start targeting consumers directly.
Lowe’s was particularly encouraged by the stable returns that DIY stores selling directly to consumers, recorded throughout different seasons. The change in strategy proved very successful, with Lowe’s recording annual sales of over $1 billion in 1982 and establishing itself as the largest home retailer in the US.
It then, however, lost its position at the top in 1989, when it was overtaken by Home Depot which pioneered the establishment of big-box home improvement stores. That same year, Lowe’s started adapting its strategy to replicate the warehouse-style stores, concentrating on only restructuring plans rather than the aggressive opening of new stores. Again, the strategy paid off, and Lowe’s began being associated with big-box stores. In recent years, Lowe’s has adopted the ‘Total Home’ strategy that seeks to see its stores offer a total home solution for all its customers, complemented by strong wholesome services, such as quick delivery and installation.
Lowe’s was listed on the NYSE in December 1979, trading under the ticker symbol LOW. The stock is categorised in the Consumer Cyclical sector, under the Home Improvement Retail industry.
Lowe’s Stock History
Lowe’s has implemented five stock splits in its history, with the most recent one being a 2-for-1 performed in July 2006. The LOW stock has performed admirably since the turn of the millennium, rising from a split-adjusted price of circa $15 to now trading above $200 in 2021.
After a period of stagnation, the stock really picked up steam in March 2009 as the broader market started recovering post the 2007/8 Great Recession. LOW then rose above $50 in late 2013 and above $100 in early 2018. After a period of consolidation, the stock suffered a sharp dip in late February 2020, plunging from circa $125 to circa $65 in less than a month. The sharp dip was then followed by a strong turnaround, with the stock rising to hit its all-time high at circa $215 in March 2021. LOW continues to trade above $200 as of September 2021.
Lowe’s is, in every sense, a Dividend King on Wall Street. The company has consistently raised its payouts for over 55 years, averaging a dividend yield of over 2.1%.
How to Trade Lowe’s Stock
Here are some of the factors to consider when trading LOW stock:
- Cyclical Factors
Lowe’s is a cyclical stock, with its price dependent on prevailing macroeconomic conditions. LOW will typically experience tailwinds during periods of economic boom and favourable monetary policies, such as low-interest rates. In contrast, less favourable monetary policies, such as high interest rates and poor economic conditions, will tend to provide headwinds for the stock because of the negative impact on mortgage applications. Additionally, weather conditions also contribute to the cyclical nature of the LOW stock, with bad weather often prompting postponing of home improvement projects.
- Lumber Prices
Lumber is one of the most important raw materials for numerous Lowe’s products. In recent years, lumber prices have fluctuated wildly, affecting the pricing of direct lumber products as well as associated products such as nails, tools, and dyes. Higher lumber prices can often cause customers to postpone their home improvement projects, and this can consequently impact the bottom line of the company.
Competition in the home retailing industry comes from other big-box home retailers, lumberyards, traditional hardware stores, as well as plumbing and electrical retailers. General merchandise retailers and warehouse clubs also vie for the same group of customers as Lowe’s. Some of the biggest competitors of Lowe’s include Home Depot, Menards, Home Improvement, and True Value.
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