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Mar 4, 2010
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Foot Locker reports profit; sales trend improves

By
Reuters
Published
Mar 4, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, March 3 (Reuters) - Foot Locker (FL.N) on Wednesday 3 March posted higher fourth-quarter revenue that beat analysts' estimates and said same-store sales rose in January and February.

Foot Locker

Same-store sales fell 2.3 percent for the fourth quarter which ended Jan. 30, but Foot Locker said it saw an improving sales trend in both the United States and internationally in the quarter, with a same-store sales increase in January that continued through February.

Foot Locker's stock rose 1.8 percent in after-hours trading.

The athletic shoe retailer reported a net profit in its fourth quarter of $23 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with a year-ago net loss of $125 million, or 81 cents per share, when the company was hit by a steep impairment charge.

Excluding charges for inventory writedowns, corporate restructuring charges and an income tax adjustment, adjusted earnings were 24 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 25 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 0.6 percent to $1.33 billion, the company said, above analysts' expectation of $1.31 billion.

Chief Executive Ken Hicks Hicks said the company had effectively managed its inventories and maintained "tight expense controls."

Foot Locker has been closing underperforming stores as it has cut jobs and consolidated the operations of its various store chains under one management structure.

The company, along with rivals such as Finish Line Inc (FINL.O), has faced a weak mall environment in which shoppers have cut back on athletic shoes, but the recent strength of toning footwear for women has been a bright spot in the market.

Shares of the company rose to $13.25 in after-hours trade after closing on the New York Stock Exchange at $13.01, down 1.5 percent, or 20 cents a share. (Reporting by Alexandria Sage; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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