23 Nov Foot Locker’s Q3 Tops Street Estimates
Foot Locker Inc. reported that excluding a special charge related to litigation, earnings climbed 17 percent in the third quarter to $141 million, or 20 cents a share. Results exceeded Wall Street’s consensus estimate of 94 cents a share.
– GAAP Earnings of $80 Million, $0.57 Per Share
– Non-GAAP Earnings Per Share Increased 20 Percent to $1.00
– Non-GAAP Net Income Increased 17 Percent to $141 Million
– Comparable-Store Sales Increased 8.7 Percent
– Gross Margin Rate Improved 60 Basis Points
– SG&A Rate Improved 80 Basis Points
Third Quarter Results
Net income for the company’s third quarter ended October 31, 2015 was $80 million, or $0.57 per share. This result included a $100 million pre-tax litigation charge that relates to the previously disclosed trial court decision in a lawsuit involving the company’s conversion of its pension plan in 1996, a decision which is currently being appealed. Excluding this charge, which reduced after-tax earnings by 43 cents per share, non-GAAP earnings were $1.00 per share, a 20 percent increase over the 83 cents per share the company earned in the same period last year on a comparable basis.
Third quarter comparable-store sales increased 8.7 percent. Total sales increased 3.6 percent, to $1,794 million this year, compared with sales of $1,731 million for the corresponding prior-year period. Excluding the effect of foreign currency fluctuations, total sales for the third quarter increased 8.9 percent. The company’s gross margin rate improved to 33.8 percent of sales from 33.2 percent a year ago, while the selling, general, and administrative expense rate improved to 19.6 percent of sales from 20.4 percent.
“This quarter, in fact this entire year, has offered a perfect illustration of how building diversity into our business has helped us sustain record-setting growth over multiple quarters and years,” said Richard Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We have built strength across different banners and channels; we have a global footprint; we have excellent momentum in men’s, women’s, and kids’; and we have multiple legs to our product category stool, with leadership positions in basketball, running, and classic sneakers.”
Net income for the company’s first nine months of the year increased to $383 million, or $2.71 per share, compared to net income of $374 million, or $2.55 per share, for the corresponding period in 2014. Excluding the litigation charge noted above, earnings per share for the first nine months totaled $3.14, a 22 percent increase over the same period last year.
Year-to-date sales were $5,405 million, an increase of 3.1 percent compared to sales of $5,240 million in the corresponding nine-month period of 2014. Year-to-date comparable store sales have increased 8.7 percent.
Excluding the effect of foreign currency fluctuations, total sales year-to-date have increased 8.9 percent.
At October 31, 2015, the company’s merchandise inventories were $1,336 million, 0.9 percent higher than at the end of the third quarter last year. Using constant currencies, inventory increased 4.5 percent.
The company’s cash totaled $878 million, while the debt on its balance sheet was $131 million. The company spent $110.6 million to repurchase 1.56 million shares during the quarter and paid its quarterly stock dividend of $0.25, spending $35 million.
“We continue to manage inventory carefully, and we are heading into the holidays with very fresh and distinctive assortments to drive full-price selling,” said Lauren Peters, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Foot Locker also has a very strong balance sheet and a well-funded pension plan. Our pension plan is sufficiently funded today to absorb a $100 million liability resulting from this litigation without requiring any cash contributions by the company to the plan in the near term. This charge does not change our ability to invest in the business to reach the 2020 goals we laid out at the beginning of the year, and to return cash to shareholders in the same manner as we intended to before this accrual.”
Store Base Update
During the third quarter, the company opened 30 new stores, remodeled or relocated 48 stores, and closed 16 stores. As of October 31, 2015, the company operated 3,432 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, 48 franchised Foot Locker stores were operating in the Middle East and South Korea, as well as 16 franchised Runners Point stores in Germany.