Lowe's Companies reported a sharp drop in quarterly profit on Friday as consumers curbed spending on their homes in the recession.

The second largest home improvement retailer behind Home Depot Inc said earnings came to $162 million, or 11 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ended January 30, compared with $408 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales fell 3.8 percent to $9.98 billion. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 9.9 percent.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Derek Caney)