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Big-Box Q4 and 2021 Financials Roundup

Several major big-box retailers and manufacturers recently released financial results. Here’s a look at how each performed in the last quarter of the fiscal year and fiscal year 2021. 

Lowe’s

In Q4 2021, Lowe’s reported net earnings of $1.2 billion and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.78, a jump over the net earnings during the fourth quarter of 2020, which were $978 million. Total sales for Q4 topped $21.3 billion compared to $20.3 billion in 2020. 

Consolidated comparable sales increased 5 percent. U.S. comparable sales jumped 5.1 percent, and pro customer sales were up 23 percent. The U.S. comparable sales increase over a two-year basis was 35.2 percent. 

The company awarded a discretionary year-end bonus of $265 million to front-line associates to recognize their hard work during pandemic. 

“We delivered another year of outstanding performance in 2021, as we gained market share across DIY and pro through our Total Home strategy. I would like to thank our front-line associates for their tremendous efforts this year,” says Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “In 2021, we increased comparable sales by 6.9 percent while generating over 170 basis points of operating margin improvement with our relentless focus on productivity and enhanced pricing strategies. We remain confident in the long-term strength of the home improvement market and our ability to expand operating margin.”

Home Depot

The Home Depot released numbers for both Q4 and fiscal year 2021, showing sales for the fourth quarter at $35.7 billion, an increase of 10.7 percent over Q4 2020. Comparable sales for Q4 increased 8.1 percent and comparable sales in the U.S. increased 7.6 percent. Net earnings were $3.4 billion, up from the $2.9 billion in net earnings from the previous year. 

For fiscal year 2021, sales were $151.2 billion, up 14.4 percent. Comparable sales increased 11.4 percent and comparable sales in the U.S. jumped 10.7 percent. In 2021, net earnings reached $16.4 billion, up from $12.9 billion in 2020. 

“Fiscal 2021 was another record year for The Home Depot. We achieved a milestone of over $150 billion in sales,” says Craig Menear, chairman and CEO. “Our ability to grow the business by over $40 billion in the last two years is a testament to investments we have made in the business, our ability to execute with agility and our associates’ relentless focus on our customers. I would like to thank all of our associates, as well as our supplier partners, for their hard work and dedication to serving our customers, communities and each other.”

Walmart 

For Q4 2021, Walmart reported that Walmart Inc. net sales exceeded $150 billion, Walmart’s U.S. net sales exceeded $105 billion, and comp sales grew 5.6 percent with market share gains in grocery. Total revenue was $152.9 billion, up 0.5 percent and negatively affected by $10.2 billion due to divestitures.

For full-year 2021, total revenue was $572.8 billion, up 2.4 percent and negatively affected by $32.7 billion related to divestitures. U.S. comp sales increased 6.4 percent and 15.0 percent on a two-year stack. U.S. e-commerce sales grew 11 percent and 90 percent on a two-year stack.

“We had another strong quarter to finish off a strong year. We have momentum in our business in all three segments,” says Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “We’re being aggressive with our plans and executing on the strategy. It’s exciting to see how the teams are simultaneously navigating today’s challenges and reshaping our business.”

Tractor Supply Company 

Tractor Supply Company’s Q4 2021 net sales increased 15.3 percent to $3.32 billion, and comparable store sales were up 12.7 percent. Diluted EPS increased to $1.93 in the fourth quarter and ended at $8.61 for fiscal year 2021. Gross profit for the fourth quarter moved from $995.5 million in 2020 to $1.12 billion in 2021. 

In fiscal year 2021, net sales were up 19.9 percent to $12.73 billion, and comparable store sales increased 16.9 percent. The company recorded $4.48 billion in gross profit in 2021, up 19 percent from the year before. Tractor Supply Company opened 80 new stores in 2021. 

“Tractor Supply had an outstanding fourth quarter, capping off a record year of sales and earnings in 2021. Thank you to our 46,000 Team Members for their hard work, passion and dedication to Life Out Here. Today, our business is substantially stronger than before the pandemic. Our resilient and differentiated business model has allowed us to capitalize on the structural consumer trends benefiting our business, and we believe we have a long growth runway ahead of us. We have strong momentum in our business, and our results demonstrate that our multiyear Life Out Here strategy is working,” says Hal Lawton, Tractor Supply’s president and chief executive officer.

Sherwin-Williams

The Sherwin-Williams Company reported its 2021 year-end and fourth quarter financial results, which showed increases nearly across the board. Consolidated net sales for the year increased 8.6 percent to a record $19.9 billion, and net sales from stores in the U.S. and Canada open more than 12 months increased 6 percent. Availability issues with raw materials negatively affected full-year sales, and diluted net income per share were down to $6.98 per share, compared to $7.36 in 2020. 

For Q4 2021, consolidated net sales improved 6.1 percent with a diluted net income per share of $1.15 and adjusted diluted net income per share of $1.34. 

“Our full year and fourth quarter were marked by industry-wide supply chain disruptions,  unprecedented cost inflation and ongoing challenges related to the pandemic,” says chairman, president and chief executive officer John G. Morikis. “The 61,000 dedicated employees of Sherwin-Williams refused to use these challenges as an excuse, but rather as an opportunity to get even closer to our customers. We focused on minimizing the impact to their businesses through innovation, value-added services and differentiated distribution.”

Target

Comparable sales for Target grew 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021 on top the 20.5 percent growth seen in Q4 2022. Comparable traffic was up 8.1 percent and more than 95 percent of Target’s Q4 sales were fulfilled by its stores. EPS was at an all-time high of $3.21.

For fiscal year 2021, Target delivered $106 billion in total revenue, growing nearly $28 billion or 35 percent over the past two years. Comparable sales jumped 12.7 percent for 2021 on top of the 19.3 percent increase in 2020. Total sales have grown $27 billion since 2019, including more than $14 billion of additional store sales and digital sales growth of almost $13 billion.

“Our strong fourth-quarter performance capped off a year of record growth in 2021, reinforcing the durability of our business model and our confidence in long-term profitable growth,” says Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target. “As we look ahead, we’ll keep investing and delivering on all that has earned the loyalty and trust of our guests; that starts with our outstanding team and includes continued differentiation through affordability, assortment, ease and convenience.”

See how these big-box retailers and manufacturers performed in the third quarter of 2021 here.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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