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Earnings

Foot Locker Sprints to 4Q Earnings Beat as Sales Grow

Foot Locker Store, sneakers

 (REUTERS)

Despite bad weather across the U.S., Foot Locker (FL) beat the Street on Friday with a 16% jump in fiscal fourth-quarter profits as the athletic apparel retailer enjoyed healthy sales growth.

Shares of the New York-based company rallied over 5% in the wake of the stronger-than-expected results.

Foot Locker said it earned $121 million, or 81 cents a share, last quarter, compared with $104 million, or 68 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, it earned 82 cents a share, up from 64 cents the year before and above the Street’s view of 76 cents.

Revenue increased 4.6% to $1.79 billion, narrowly exceeding consensus calls from analysts for $1.76 billion. Same-store sales jumped 5.3%.

“I am very proud of the progress that the entire team at Foot Locker, Inc. is making towards reaching our long term goals and objectives,” Foot Locker CEO Ken Hicks said in a statement. “While we accomplished a great deal in 2013, we have many more opportunities to improve the business further.”

Foot Locker said it has authorized a capital expenditure program of $220 million for 2014.

The company’s merchandise inventory level as of February 1 stood at $1.22 billion, which was 4.5% higher than the same period a year ago.

Wall Street cheered Foot Locker’s earnings beat, driving the company’s shares 5.31% higher to $45.00. Those gains should allow Foot Locker to extend its 12-month rally of about 21%.

Follow Matt Egan on Twitter @MattMEgan5