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High-Tech Trainers Give Foot Locker a Leg Up

Foot Locker is upgraded on strong first-quarter earnings and expected improvements throughout the year.

Consumers may no longer be footing the bill for the high life, but they are investing on high-tech training apparel and footwear.

Foot Locker

(FL) - Get Foot Locker, Inc. Report

was upgraded on Tuesday on strong first-quarter earnings and expectations of continued improvement.

Susquehanna analyst Christopher Svezia wrote in a note to investors that company's management is "clearly focused" on improving Foot Locker's operating structure amid the difficult environment.

"While we anticipate down earnings in the second quarter given the comparisons, we believe the initiatives on

expense reduction and inventory control are sustainable into the second-half of 2009," he wrote on Tuesday.

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There has also been a shift in demand toward higher-price technical athletic footwear, which should help results in the future.

Svezia raised his rating his stock rating to positive from neutral.

Last week the athletic apparel and sneaker retailer reported

first-quarter profit of $31 million

, or 20 cents per share, beating analyst expectations of 13 cents. Revenue fell 7% to $1.22 billion.

While shares fell on Friday on soft April same-store sales, they gradually recovered during the day. On Tuesday afternoon shares jumped 9% to $11.25.

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