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Lowe's to Reward Front-Line Employees Amid Coronavirus Woes

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Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW - Free Report) is committed and sensitive toward its employees as much as it is toward customers during this pandemic. The home-improvement retailer recently increased its spending on associates and communities to more than $450 million.  This includes a $100-million bonus to be paid to its front-line staff. The company will pay bonuses to all its active hourly associates across U.S. stores, distribution centers and store-support centers in mid-July. While the full-time hourly associates are entitled to receive $300, part-time and seasonal workers will be receiving $150. This is in line with the funds paid to its hourly associates in March and May.

Further, the company continues to provide telemedicine services to all its associates and their families, irrespective of their enrolment in the company’s medical plans. Lowe’s had also announced a $87 million profit-sharing bonus to its front-line associates in June. It had also raised pay for its full-time, part-time and seasonal staff by $2 per hour for the month of April. Moreover, the company has made a donation of $70 million through grants and PPE product.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2020, the company invested $340 million to financially support its associates, healthcare staff and first-responders. It also committed $50 million to support local communities. To help small businesses, it has also launched Lowe's for Pros JobSIGHT powered by Streem. This is a no-cost augmented video chat service allowing Pros to make virtual home visits with consumers. This offering facilitates the interaction of Pros with homeowners and clients without entering their homes, thus expanding job opportunities.

All these efforts clearly show Lowe's commitment toward its workers and communities. These apart, the company remains well-positioned to capitalize on the demand in the home-improvement market, backed by investments in technology, merchandise category and strength in Pro business. Notably, Lowe’s posted decent first-quarter fiscal 2020 results, wherein the top and bottom lines beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and grew year over year. Results benefited from its actions to adjust operations in the wake of coronavirus in late February. Moreover, gains from retail fundamentals strategy, robust execution and resilience in home-improvement business model aided performance. Also, it benefited from the ability to cater to the rise in online demand due to the pandemic.

Buoyed by such positives, shares of the Mooresville, NC-based company have surged 55.2% over the past three months, ahead of the industry’s 34.4% rally. Lowe's carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)

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