After falling 3.4% during yesterday's session, Foot Locker (FL 70.80, +2.22) has recovered the bulk of that loss in the early going of today's affair. The footwear retailer has climbed 3.2% after beating earnings expectations for the fourth quarter.
Foot Locker reported above-consensus earnings of $1.37 per share on a 5.3% year-over-year increase in revenue to $2.11 billion, which matched expectations.
Comparable store sales increased 5.0% during the fourth quarter while gross margin improved to 33.7% from 33.6%.
Foot Locker management noted continued progress towards its long-term goals, highlighting its Earnings Before Interest and Taxes, which surpassed $1 billion for the first time in the company's history. Sales per gross square foot improved to $515 from $504 one year ago.
During the fourth quarter, Foot Locker opened 20 new stores, relocated 59 stores, and closed 51 locations. The company had 3,363 stores in operation at the end of the quarter, down from 3,383 locations at the end of 2015. The company also had 59 franchised locations operating in the Middle East and South Korea and 15 franchised Runners Point stores in Germany. One year ago, the company had 48 franchised locations in the Middle East and South Korea and 16 franchised Runners Point stores in Germany.
Looking ahead, the company acknowledged a tough sales environment, but still guided for a mid-single digit gain in comparable sales growth and a double-digit increase in earnings per share during the fiscal year.
Like other retailers, Foot Locker has faced some selling pressure since the start of the year, but the company has fared better than its peers, having marked an all-time high at $79.43 in early December.