Foot Locker
FINANCE

Foot Locker Q1 earnings, sales top Street

BY Marianne Wilson

Premium product and partnerships with key partners helped Foot Locker top analysts estimates for its first quarter.

Net income for the quarter ended May 5 was $165 million, or $1.38 per share, compared to $180 million, or $1.36 per share in the year-ago period. Excluding a charge related to the specialty athletic retailer’s pension litigation earnings were $1.45 per share, above estimates of $1.2.

First quarter comparable-store sales decreased 2.8 percent. Total sales increased 1.2% to $2.03 billion, which also best estimates. Same-stores sales fell 2.8%, which was a smaller decline than analysts had expected.

“The flow of premium product continues to improve, with increasing breadth and depth in the most sought after styles from our key vendors,” said Richard Johnson, chairman and CEO.  “This led to first quarter results which were above our expectations.  With the strength of our strategic vendor partnerships and our central position in youth culture, we continue to believe that we are poised to inflect to positive comparable-store sales growth as we progress through the year.”

As of May 5, Foot Locker’s merchandise inventories were 5.4%.

“The team did an excellent job in managing our inventories and helping to clear slow moving product in a promotional environment, giving us the flexibility to flow in fresh and exciting product,” said Lauren Peters, executive VP and CFO. “This disciplined approach positions our inventory to drive improved top and bottom line results over the balance of the year.”

During the first quarter, the company opened 11 new stores, remodeled or relocated 43 stores, and closed 37 stores.  As of May 5, Foot Locker operated 3,284 stores in 24 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.  In addition, 105 franchised Foot Locker stores were operating in the Middle East, as well as 11 franchised Runners Point stores in Germany.

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