Foot Locker's stock surged 5.7% in premarket trade Friday, after the athletic shoe retailer reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, net earnings increased to $146 million, or $1.01 a share, from $121 million, or 81 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, including a one-time gain from the sale of property, per-share earnings were $1, above the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of 91 cents. Total sales rose 6.7% to $1.91 billion, and same-store sales grew 10.2%, above the FactSet consensus of $1.87 billion and 5.8%, respectively. "Our strong top-line performance was accompanied by continued discipline in managing expenses," said Chief Financial Officer Lauren Peters. "As a result, we set many new records for our company in 2014, including increasing our gross margin rate to 33.2% of sales and improving our annual SG&A expense rate to below 20% for the first time." The stock has edged up 0.6% in the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.2%.
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