Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s reported a double-digit drop in earnings and flat sales for its fiscal fourth quarter.
Net earnings were $408 million for the quarter ended Feb. 1, 2008, a 33.4 percent decline over the same period a year ago.
For the fiscal year ended the same date, net earnings declined 9.5 percent to $2.81 billion.
Sales for the quarter declined 0.3 percent to just under $10.4 billion. For the fiscal year, sales increased 2.9 percent to $48.3 billion. Comparable store sales declined 7.6 percent for the fourth quarter and 5.1 percent for fiscal 2007.
“Fourth quarter and fiscal year 2007 sales fell short of our plan as we faced an unprecedented decline in housing turnover, falling home prices in many areas and turbulent mortgage markets that impacted both sentiment related to home improvement purchases as well as consumers’ access to capital,” explained Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO.
“As we look to fiscal 2008, we know the next several quarters will be challenging on many fronts as industry sales are likely to remain soft,” Niblock continued. “We remain focused on what we can control: providing great customer service while managing expenses and offering customers the best shopping experience in home improvement.” He added that the Federal Reserve rate cuts and the stimulus packaged passed by Congress should improve consumer confidence later in the year.
During the quarter, Lowe's opened 72 new stores including two relocations. As of Feb. 1, Lowe’s operated 1,534 stores in the United States and Canada representing 174.1 million square feet of retail selling space, a 10.9 percent increase over last year.