Foot Locker Inc. reported Friday fiscal third-quarter earnings that rose to $157 million, or $1.17 a share, from $80 million, or 57 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. That beat the FactSet consensus for earnings per share of $1.10. Revenue increased to $1.89 billion from $1.79 billion, matching the FactSet consensus, as the gross margin rate improved to 33.9% of sales from 33.8%. Same-store sales grew 4.7%, in line with the FactSet consensus. Merchandise inventory increased 1.9% to $1.36 billion. The athletic shoe retailer said it opened 21 new stores during the quarter, but closes 28 stores. The stock, which slipped 0.5% in premarket trade, has rallied 9.6% year to date, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 5.8% and the S&P 500 has climbed 7%.
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