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Foot Locker profit tops estimates on higher shoe sales

(Reuters) – Sports footwear retailer Foot Locker Inc‘s results beat Wall Street estimates for eight quarters in a row as more customers flocked to the company’s stores, sending its shares up 6 percent before the bell.

The retailer, which sells branded shoes of Nike Inc , Reebok and Adidas AG , has better managed its inventory levels over the past few quarters and has benefited from new and eye-catching designs of athletic gear.

The company — whose products include basketball, running, and casual footwear, as well as apparel and accessories — said profit rose to $59 million (37 million pounds), or 39 cents per share, from $37 million, or 24 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the retailer posted a profit of 38 cents per share beating analysts’ estimates by 5 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which runs chains including Champs Sports and Footaction, said revenue rose 7.2 percent to $1.37 billion, above the average Wall Street estimate of $1.35 billion.

Foot Locker said comparable-store sales rose 9.8 percent.

Separately, sports good retailer Hibbett Sports Inc also posted second-quarter profit that beat estimates by 2 cents, helped by margin improvement, and raised its full-year profit outlook.

New York-based Foot Locker’s shares, which have risen about 45 percent this year, were up about 5 percent at $36.08 in premarket trading. They closed at $34.49 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares of Hibbett Sports closed at $61.80 on Thursday, on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Aditi Shrivastava, Chris Jonathan Peters and Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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