Foot Locker swings to loss in first quarter

Sales fell 43.4% to $1.12 billion

Foot Locker Inc. said Friday that it swung to a loss in its first quarter and will temporarily suspend its cash dividend.

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The New York-based specialty athletic retailer reported a loss of $98 million, or 93 cents a share, compared with a profit of $172 million, or $1.52 a share, the same period last year.

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Excluding items, Foot Locker reported a loss of 67 cents a share for the quarter. Analysts polled on FactSet had forecast a loss of 12 cents a share.

Sales fell 43.4% to $1.12 billion. Inventories at the end of the quarter came to $1.46 billion, 20.4% higher than at the end of the first quarter last year.

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During the quarter, the company said it opened five new stores, remodeled or relocated nine, and permanently closed 21. As of May 2, it said it operated 3,113 stores in 27 countries around the world.

The company said it would temporarily suspend its cash dividend beginning with the second quarter payment and would evaluate the policy on a quarterly basis.

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