MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe’s reported net earnings of $288 million and diluted earnings per share of 26 cents for the fourth quarter of 2012. As a result of the extra week in 2011, net earnings for the fourth quarter declined 10.6% and diluted earnings per share were flat from the fourth quarter of 2011.
Sales for the fourth quarter decreased 5% to $11 billion from $11.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 increased 1.9% on a consolidated basis as well as for the U.S. business.
“We delivered solid results in the fourth quarter,” commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “Our results are a testament to the team’s success in driving more balanced performance across the quarter, our response to the demand created by recovery efforts in the wake of superstorm Sandy, and the momentum we’re creating with our initiatives.
“I’d like to thank our employees for their perseverance in a year of significant change, and for their continued dedication to serving customers,” Niblock added.
As of February 1, 2013, Lowe’s operated 1,754 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 197.4 million square feet of retail selling space.
For the fiscal year 2013, total sales are expected increase approximately 4%, the company said. Comparable-store sales are expected to increase approximately 3.5%.
The company expects to open approximately 10 stores in fiscal year 2013.
Diluted earnings per share of approximately $2.05 are expected for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2014.