Lowe's Q4 Profit Slips, Announces Share Buybacks

Lowe's (NYSE: LOW  ) has reported its Q4 and 2012 results. For the quarter, sales slid 5% year over year, to $11.0 billion. That metric was $11.6 billion in the same quarter the previous year. Net profit was $288 million ($0.26 per diluted share), a decline of nearly 11% from Q4 2011's figure. Comparable-store sales grew 1.9% on a consolidated basis.

The company pointed out, however, that both Q4 and fiscal 2011 included an extra week compared to their 2012 counterparts.

For the full year, Lowe's reported sales of $50.5 billion. This was a slight increase over those of 2011. Net profit advanced 6.5% over the same time frame to land at $2.0 billion ($1.69 diluted EPS).

The firm added that its board has authorized up to $5 billion in stock repurchases over the next two years. This replaces the existing buyback program.

Lowe's also provided guidance for fiscal 2013. It believes total sales will grow roughly 4% on a year-over-year basis, comparable-store sales will advance by around 3.5%, and diluted EPS should come in at approximately $2.05.

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