Extra sales week helps Foot Locker 4Q profit

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- An extra sales week helped lift Foot Locker's fiscal fourth-quarter net income 28 percent, beating analyst expectations, but shares still slumped.

The shoe store chain earned $104 million, or 68 cents per share, for the 14 weeks through Feb. 2. That compares with $81 million, or 53 cents per share, in the 13-week period a year earlier.

Excluding charges to write down the value of some assets and the benefit from the extra week, earnings were 73 cents per share. Excluding the gain from the extra week, they were 64 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 72 cents per share.

Investors, who had driven shares up 10 percent in 2013, may have had higher expectations for the quarter.

They may also be concerned about an increase in general expenses, which Janney analyst Eric Tracy said "looked a bit heavy" in the most recent quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 12 percent to $363 million in the period. The company said on a conference call that its expenses for marketing and other items in 2013 will be a similar proportion of sales as in 2012.

Revenue rose 14 percent to $1.71 billion from $1.5 billion, as sales in established stores, a key retail metric, rose 7.9 percent. Wall Street forecast $1.69 billion in revenue.

For the year, Foot Locker Inc. earned $397 million, or $2.58 per share. In the previous year it earned $278 million, or $1.80 per share. Annual revenue grew 10 percent to $6.18 billion.

Foot Locker expects 2013 earnings per share to grow by a double-digit percentage from the adjusted profit of $2.47 in 2012. Analysts predict earnings of $2.83 per share, a 15 percent increase.

Foot Locker has about 3,300 stores in 23 countries.

Shares of Foot Locker fell $2.15, or 6.1 percent, to $33.16 in Friday afternoon trading. Over the past 12 months, the stock has traded between $27.86 and $37.65.

Citi analyst Kate McShane said the company was doing well in a tough period for retailers, and recommended that investors buy the stock on its dip.