Lowe’s fourth quarter impacted by one-time charges

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. reported its fourth-quarter earnings this morning, which included a net loss of $824 million, a swing from net earnings of $554 million a year ago. The results were impacted by pre-tax charges of $1.6 billion, due mainly to the costs attached to reorganizing its operations toward the end of last year. That included a $952 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge related to the Canadian business in anticipation of continued weakness in the Canadian housing market, and $150 million associated with the closing of under-performing stores in Canada and the U.S.

Comparable sales for the company were up 1.7% for the quarter, with the U.S. home improvement business actually up 2.4%. The business in Canada had negative comps for the quarter.

(Full story on Lowe’s results for 2018, including its business in Canada, in Monday’s searing edition of our Hardlines weekly newsletter. The weekly is our deep dive into the news and issues of the day in home improvement retailing. I invite you to try it for four weeks, at no charge! Please click right here. —Your ever-helpful Editor)