Lowe’s Q4 profit tops estimates

Mooresville, N.C. -- Lowe's Co. reported fourth quarter profits that topped Wall Street estimates, helped rebuilding efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and general remodeling activity. The retailer also said it authorized a new $5 billion share buyback program that it expects to use in the next two year

Lowe’s earned $288 million in the fourth quarter ended on Feb. 1, compared with $322 million. (Lowe’s fiscal year ends on the Friday nearest the end of January; therefore, fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 included an extra week compared to 2012.)
   
Sales for the fourth quarter decreased 5% to $11.0 billion, from $11.6 billion in fourth quarter 2011. Same-store sales increased 1.9% as builders started single-family housing at the fastest rate in four years, boosting spending by contractors.

“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 initiative

For the fiscal year, sales were $50.5 billion, a 0.6% increase over fiscal year 2011.

The world’s second-largest home improvement retailer said its net earnings were $288 million, or 26 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended on Feb. 1, compared with $322 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier.