Bloomberg

Foot Locker Inc. (FL - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and same-store sales Friday and said it sees double-digit profit growth in the coming year.

Foot Locker said earnings for the three months ending on February 2 came in at $1.56 per share, up 23.8% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street forecast of $1.40 per share. Group sales, Foot Locker said, rose 2.8% to $2.272 billion and again beat the consensus estimate of $2.18 billion. Same stores sales rose 9.7% over the fourth quarter, the company said, well ahead of the 4.6% forecast from Refinitiv.

"The fundamentals of our core business remain strong and led to meaningful improvement in our financial results, not only during the fourth quarter but throughout 2018," said CEO Richard Johnson. "Looking at 2019, we believe that by maintaining our focus on bringing differentiated experiences to youth culture, we can continue to elevate our financial performance by generating a mid-single digit comparable sales gain and another double-digit percentage increase in earnings per share."

Foot Locker shares were marked 14% higher at the start of trading Friday and changing hands at $67.85, a move that would extend the stocks' three-month gain to around 22.5% and take it to the highest levels in more than a year and a half.