Lowe’s posts mixed results for fourth quarter

Comp-store sales were up at Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's, but fourth-quarter sales and earnings declined. 

Lowe's fourth-quarter sales declined 5.0% to $11.0 billion, the company reported Monday morning. Comp-store sales increased 1.9%. Net earnings declined 10.6% to $288 million.

Despite the fourth-quarter declines in sales and earnings, CEO Robert Niblock called the performance "solid," as the company's financial report was being compared against an extra week in the previous periods. He added: “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."

For the full year, sales were $50.5 billion, up 0.6% over fiscal year 2011. Comp-store sales for the full year increased 1.4%. Net earnings for the full year increased 6.5% to $1.949 billion.

As of Feb. 1, Lowe's operated 1,754 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Looking ahead, Lowe's expects comp-store sales to improve to an increase of 3.5% next year. The company also intends to add 10 new stores in fiscal 2013.