Specialty athletic retailer Foot Locker, Inc. (FL) Friday reported a significant increase in profit for the third quarter, helped by strong sales growth at established stores. Both earnings and revenues topped Wall Street estimates. The stock is gaining around 6 percent in pre-market activity.
Net income surged to $106 million or $0.69 per share from $66 million or $0.43 per share in the prior year and $59 million or $0.39 per share in the preceding quarter.
The latest results include a tax benefit of $0.06 per share, as a result of a settlement of a foreign tax audit. Adjusted earnings were $0.63 per share. On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.54 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Sales increased 9.3 percent to $1.52 billion from $1.39 billion for the same period last year, exceeding Wall Street expectation of $1.47 billion. Excluding currency impact, total sales increased 11 percent. In the preceding second quarter, sales totaled $1.37 billion.
Comparable-store sales increased 10.2 percent, consisting of a 9.4 percent increase in store sales and an 18.3 percent increase in direct-to-customer sales.
As at October 27, Foot Locker's merchandise inventory was $1.24 billion, up 3 percent from the end of the third quarter last year.
During the quarter, the company repurchased 841 thousand shares of its common stock for $29.7 million.
In the first nine months, the company opened 70 new stores, remodeled/relocated 159 stores and closed 72 stores.
Ken Hicks, CEO, said, "Our team put together another outstanding quarter, delivering a double digit sales gain and controlling expenses to drive our bottom line earnings to new heights...Inventory turns are improving; sales per square foot are increasing; and by investing in our people and giving them the best tools to succeed with the customer, our associates are becoming even more productive, too."
FL closed on Thursday at $31.85. The stock is up nearly 6 percent at $33.75 in pre-market activity.
by RTT Staff Writer
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