San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Annual net earnings rocketed through the $6 billion mark for the first time at Wal-Mart Stores, while, at the same time, the giant retailer posted its first-ever quarter with earnings more than $2 billion. Net income for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31 hit $6.3 billion, up 17.1 percent from the $5.4 billion recorded in the previous 12 months. In the fiscal fourth quarter, net earnings were $2 billion, up from the $1.9 billion in the same three months last year. Net sales for the fiscal year were $191.3 billion, a 15.9 percent increase over the $165 billion reported in the prior fiscal year. Total sales for the fourth quarter were $56.6 billion, a 10 percent jump over the $51.4 billion recorded in the year-ago three months. In the quarter, sales in the Wal-Mart segment totaled $35.5 billion, an 11.8 percent increase over the $31.7 billion reported in the same quarter last year, while the Sam's Club segment jumped 6.1 percent to $7.5 billion, up from $7.1 billion in the year-ago three months.
WILKSBORO, N.C. — Dragged down by heavy holiday promotions and sagging lumber prices, Lowe's Companies reported about a 5 percent drop in net earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 2. Earnings reached $140.8 million for the three months, compared with $148.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Comp-store sales for the fourth quarter decreased 3 percent. Sales for the period climbed nearly 20 percent to $4.5 billion, up from $3.8 billion in the previous fourth quarter. Net earnings in fiscal 2000 increased 20.4 percent to $809.9 million, compared with $672.9 million the previous year. Excluding a one-time charge, net earnings increased 17.4 percent. Sales for the year were up 18.1 percent to $18.8 billion, compared with $15.9 billion the previous year. Comp-store sales for the fiscal year climbed 1.2 percent.