Foot Locker smashes profit, sales estimates; temporary store closures resume

Marianne Wilson
Marianne Wilson profile picture

Foot Locker Inc. delivered strong top- and bottom-line growth in the third quarter with profit and same-store sales blew past expectations.

The athletic footwear and apparel retailer also reported that more than 10% of its global brick-and-mortar fleet is temporarily closed as a result of restrictions to deal with the new wave of COVID-19. 

Foot Locker’s net income rose to $265 million, or $2.52 a share, in the quarter ended Oct. 31, from $125 million, or $1.16 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as a gain from a higher valuation for a minority investment, adjusted earnings per share grew to $1.21 from $1.13, beating analysts’ expectations of $0. 63. 

Sales rose 9.0% to $2.11 billion, above estimates of $1.95 billion. Same-store sales rose 7.7%.

"Although the back-to-school selling season kicked in later than usual due to COVID-19-related delays, momentum built as the quarter progressed, and we were pleased with our customers' continued strong engagement across our family of brands," said CEO Richard Johnson. 

With close to $2 billion in liquidity, the company said it is well prepared both financially and operationally to continue navigating the ongoing pandemic.

“Looking ahead … we are taking proactive measures for the upcoming holiday period to deliver outstanding experiences both in our stores and online, while ensuring the safety of our team members and customers,” added Lauren Peters, executive VP and CFO. 

As of Oct. 31, Foot Locker operated 3,032 stores in 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, 126 franchised Foot Locker stores were operating in the Middle East.

During the quarter, the company opened 27 new stores, remodeled or relocated eight stores and closed 95 stores, including 70 Runners Point stores.