Foot Locker’s Strong Comps Drive Q3 Earnings Growth

Athletic footwear and apparel retailer Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL) early Friday posted solid third quarter earnings results, as sales at stores open at least a year jumped almost 5%.

The New York City-based company reported Q3 adjusted net income of $1.13 per share, which was 3 cents better than Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $1.10. Revenues rose 5.1% from last year to $1.89 billion, in-line with expectations.

Foot Locker said that comparable store sales increased 4.7% in the latest period, a hugely bullish sign. Comparable store sales, also known as same-store sales or simply “comps,” are considered a key indicator of a retailer’s health, since they only measure the year-over-year performance of stores open at least 12 months.

FL also noted that its gross margin rate improved to 33.9% of sales in Q3, up slightly from last year’s 33.8% level.

Foot Locker didn’t provide earnings guidance in its press release. Instead, it will talk about its future projections on its earnings call with press members at 9:00am eastern time this morning.

The company commented via press release:

“The Company continued to execute its strategic initiatives and produce excellent financial results in the quarter, with solid, consistent top-line growth, as well as incremental improvements in both gross margin and SG&A rates. Our inventory is fresh and well-positioned as we prepare for the important holiday selling season, and we remain well on track to achieve our annual guidance of a mid-single digit comparable-store sales gain and double-digit earnings per share growth.”

Foot Locker shares fell $1.44 (-2.02%) to $69.91 in premarket trading Friday. Prior to today’s report, FL had gained 9.62% year-to-date, versus a 7.41% rise in the benchmark S&p 500 index during the same period.