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Lowe’s Companies Shares Edge Higher after Q4 Results (LOW)

Shares of Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW), the Mooresville, North Carolina-based home improvement retailer, have edged higher in pre-market trading today after the company reported its fourth-quarter financial results.

For the fourth quarter of 2012, LOW reported net earnings of $288 million, or $0.26 per share, compared to $322 million, or $0.26 per share reported for the same period in the previous year. Analysts were expecting the company to report fourth-quarter earnings of $0.23 per share. The company’s net earnings for the fiscal year 2012 were $2 billion, or $1.69 per share.

LOW reported fourth-quarter sales of $11 billion, down 5% on a year-over-year basis. Sales for the full fiscal year rose 0.6% to $50.5 billion. Comparable store sales for the quarter were up 1.9% on a consolidated basis, as well as for the company’s U.S. business. The company’s consolidated comparable store sales for fiscal 2012 rose 1.4%. U.S. comparable store sales rose 1.5% in fiscal 2012.

Robert A. Niblock, Chairman, President and CEO of Lowe’s Companies, said that the company delivered solid results in the fourth quarter. Niblock noted that LOW’s results are a testament to the team’s success in driving more balanced performance across the quarter, the company’s response to the demand created by recovery efforts in the wake of superstorm Sandy, and the momentum the company is creating with its initiatives.

Following the strong results, the company forecast higher revenue in the current fiscal year.

Lowe’s Companies shares rose more than 2% in pre-market trading today before paring some of the gains. At last check, the stock was up 0.61% to $37.90.

Year-to-date, LOW shares have gained more than 6%.

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