Foot Locker Inc. reported Friday fiscal first-quarter earnings that rose to $191 million, or $1.39 a share, from $184 million, or $1.29 a share, in the same period a year ago. That matched the FactSet consensus for earnings per share of $1.39. Sales increased to $1.99 billion from $1.92 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $2.00 billion, with same-store sales growth of 2.9% missing expectations of a 4.5% increase. The gross margin rate was flat at 35% of sales, while merchandise inventories increased 2.1% to $1.26 billion. The athletic shoe retailer said it expects full-year same-store sales growth in the mid-single digit percentage range, in line with the FactSet consensus of 4.9%. The stock, which slipped 0.1% in premarket trade, has dropped 10% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 5.9% and the S&P 500 has eased 0.2%.
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