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Lowe’s reports higher 4Q earnings

Lowe’s Cos. said today that its net earnings in the fourth quarter of 2010 rose 39 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

For the quarter that ended Jan. 28, the Mooresville home improvement retailer recorded net earnings of $285 million, or 21 cents per share. During the same period one year ago, Lowe’s had net earnings of $205 million, or 14 cents a share.

Sales for the quarter increased 3.1 percent to $10.5 billion, up from $10.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009.

During the quarter, Lowe’s opened 17 stores and closed two. As of Jan. 28, the company operated 1,749 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, representing 197.1 million square feet of retail selling space, a 2 percent increase over last year.

For the fiscal year that ended Jan. 28, net earnings increased 12.7 percent to $2 billion from 1.7 billion for the prior fiscal year.

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