Foot Locker’s Q4 Earnings Top Estimates

Foot Locker Inc. continues its dominion over athletic footwear-and-apparel retail.

On Friday, the New-York based company reported a solid fourth quarter with growth in sales and profit, driven by footwear. 2015 was also the company’s sixth consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth.

Net income, for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, 2015, totaled $158 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, an 8 percent gain over the comparable quarter’s net income of $146 million, or $1.01 per diluted share. It was a beat over Wall Street’s estimates for EPS of $1.12.

Q4 revenue increased 5 percent, to $2 billion, from the comparable quarter’s revenue of $1.9 billion. The sales results were in line with Wall Street’s forecast.

Foot Locker’s total comp gains for Q4 totaled 7.9 percent.

In a pattern that has developed in recent years, we achieved sales gains in all regions, channels and [across both] genders in most banners and product categories. We believe this broad-based consistent performance reflects the leadership position we have developed as a company across our merchant and operations teams — not to mention our equally talented support functions,” Foot Locker President and CEO Dick Johnson said during the firm’s conference call.

Johnson also noted that the company had shown particular strength in 2015 in non-basketball categories such as running, where it delivered mid-teen comparable sales growth and double-digit sales gains in every region.

For fiscal year 2015, Foot Locker reported net income of $541 million, or $3.84 per share, compared to net income of $520 million, or $3.56 per share, in 2014. Total sales increased 3.6 percent to $7.4 billion, compared with sales of $7.1 billion in 2014. Comparable-store sales increased 8.5 percent in 2015.

We recorded many all-time best performances for our company in 2015, including reaching an adjusted earnings before interest and taxes rate of 12.8 percent,” Foot Locker EVP and CFO Lauren Peters said in a release. “We remain focused on productivity, boosting our return on invested capital to 15.8 percent and our sales per gross square foot to $504.”

According to Peters (during the conference call), the company expects a mid-single digit comparable sales gain and a double-digit percentage EPS increase in 2016. Peters added that the company’s relocation of its New York headquarters to another nearby building will add about $4 million to Foot Locker’s 2016 expenses, due to the company having to pay rent at both locations.

In addition to opening 90 stores this year, Foot Locker plans to close about 100 doors. The store closures will be concentrated in Lady Foot Locker and Foot Locker in the U.S.

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