MOORESVILLE, N.C.-A drop in sales led Lowe’s to a 10.6 percent decline in net income in its fiscal fourth quarter, with the bottom line totaling $288 million.
For the fiscal year as a whole, Lowe’s registered a 6.5 percent increase in net profit, to $2 billion. Net sales in the quarter, ending on Feb. 1, slid 5 percent to $11 billion. For the year as a whole, net sales edged up 0.6 percent to $50.2 billion.
In the quarter, Lowe’s delivered a pickup of 1.9 percent in same-store sales for both its U.S. business and its consolidated business. Same-store sales for the year were up 1.4 percent for the consolidated business and 1.5 percent for the U.S. stores.
Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO, said the fourth quarter produced “solid results,” which he said were “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.”
Gross margin in the quarter was relatively flat, gaining five basis points to 34.3 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses were trimmed by 6.6 percent in dollars and 45 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 25.4 percent.
For the new fiscal year, Lowe’s said it expects total sales to rise by about 4 percent, with a same-store sales gain of about 3.5 percent.