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Foot Locker Blasts Earnings Forecast Amid Soaring Same Store Sales

CEO Richard Johnson said he "optimistic about our category and our ability to drive long-term growth, profitability and shareholder value" but declined to issue 2021 profit guidance due to COVID uncertainty.

Foot Locker  (FL) - Get Foot Locker Inc. Report posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings Friday thanks to a surge in same-store sales as shoppers returned from pandemic-triggered closures, but again declined to provide full-year profit guidance.

Foot Locker said adjusted earnings for the three months ending on May 1 came in at $1.96 per share, up 192% from the same period last year and well of the Street consensus forecast of $1.05 per share. Group revenues, Footlocker said, surged 82.5% to $2.15 billion, again besting analysts' estimates of a $1.86 billion tally, as same-store sales soared 80.3% from last year.

For the second quarter in succession, however, Foot Locker said it would not provide detailed 2021 profit guidance, "given the ongoing uncertainty created by COVID-19" but noted it plans to close the majority of its "Footaction" over the next couple of years as leases expire.

"I am extremely pleased with the strength of our performance in the first quarter, compared not only to last year's heavily COVID impacted first quarter, but also relative to the first quarter of 2019," said CEO Richard Johnson. "Against the ongoing challenges of pandemic-related store closures in Europe and Canada and U.S. ports congestion, our top and bottom-line results were nothing short of exemplary." 

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"Our merchandise offering resonated very well with our customers, driving strength in our stores and continued momentum in our digital business," he added. "With strong product tailwinds, we remain optimistic about our category and our ability to drive long-term growth, profitability and shareholder value."  

Foot Locker shares were marked 3.6% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $61.85, a move that extends their year-to-date gain to around 53%.