(By Balachander) Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL), a retailer of athletic footwear and apparel, posted stronger-than-forecast quarterly earnings, helped by 10.2 percent jump in comparable store sales. Shares rose 1.63 percent in premarket trading.
Earnings increased to $106 million or 69 cents per share from $66 million or 43 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, Foot Locker earned 63 cents per share for the third quarter.
Sales grew 9.3 percent to $1.52 billion. Excluding currency impact, sales rose 11 percent.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expected earnings per share of 54 cents on sales of $1.47 billion.
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Store sales grew 9.4 percent and direct-to-customer sales jumped 18.3 percent.
At the end of the third quarter, New York-based Foot Locker's cash and short-term investments totaled $853 million. Total cash position, net of debt, was $158 million higher than the year-ago period.
As of Oct. 27, 2012, the company operated 3,367 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
FL shares ended Thursday's regular trading at $31.85. The stock has been trading between $21.03 and $37.65 over the past year.