Lowe's Companies Inc. (LOW: Quote) posted higher fourth-quarter net earnings of $322 million or $0.26 per share compared with prior year's $285 million or $0.21 per share. On average, 26 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $0.24 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.
Sales for the three-month period were $11.63 billion, up 11% from $10.48 billion in the same period a year ago, while 23 analysts estimated revenues of $11.34 billion for the quarter. Comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 3.4 percent, while comparable-store sales for the U.S. business rose 3.5 percent.
The company said the latest quarter reported results include charges related to prior announced store closings, discontinued projects and long-lived asset impairments which, in the aggregate, reduced pre-tax earnings for the fourth quarter by $53 million and earnings per share by $0.03.
For fiscal 2012, Lowe's anticipates earnings per share in the range of $1.75 to $1.85, while total sales are expected to increase 1 to 2 percent. On a 52 versus 52 week basis, total sales are expected to increase around 3 percent and comparable-store sales estimated to increase 1 to 3 percent. Twenty-nine analysts project earnings of $1.79 per share for the full year.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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