Shares of New York City-based Foot Locker popped by 9.38% to $75.01 on Friday after the company posted fourth quarter earnings of $1.37 a share before today's opening bell, compared to analyst estimates for $1.32 a share. Still, the company's sales of $2.11 billion slightly missed Wall Street's expectations of $2.12 billion.
In the fourth quarter, same-store sales rose 5% and for the full year, they increased 4.3%.
For the full year, Foot Locker reported earnings rose 12% to $4.82 a share, higher than last year's $3.84. The company's revenue grew 4.8% to $7.77 billion, compared to last year's $7.41 billion.
Foot Locker CEO Richard Johnson made no mention of Under Armour on a conference call with analysts. Instead, he elected to discuss what drove sales, not what didn't.
In the fourth quarter, sneaker and athletic apparel sales were boosted primarily by Nike (NKE) - Get Report and Foot Locker's Champs Sports, with some gains from Adidas (ADDYY) , as well. The company's women's segment, driven by Puma, dominated its sales, with gains in the double digits, according to Foot Locker Chief Financial Officer Lauren Peters.
Nike is scheduled to release its 2017 third quarter results later next month.
For the full year, Foot Locker's reported earnings rose 12% to $4.82 a share, higher than last year's $3.84. The company's revenue grew 4.8% to $7.77 billion, compared to last year's $7.41 billion.
Foot Locker "generated another outstanding performance," Peters said on the call. "This encouraging result was fueled by double-digit gains in both footwear and apparel, led by lifestyle offerings from Puma, Adidas and Nike."
On the other hand, Peters said the company is heading into a "challenging" first quarter and is facing "a softer sales environment than last year." She said Foot Locker expects only "modest improvement" in 2017.
During the fourth quarter, Foot Locker closed 51 stores but opened 20 and in 2017, the company plans to close an additional 100 stores. As of Jan. 28, the retailer operated 3,363 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Foot Locker also raised its quarterly dividend to 27.5 cents a share and repurchased 1.1 million shares, returning $579 million to shareholders in the 13-week period ended Jan. 28.
There's been a lot of disappointing results from mall-based retailers, TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment Friday.
However, Foot Locker isn't one of them.
Same-store sales were strong and the sneaker business -- as Cramer has said earlier this week -- continues to do well. Foot Locker is a stock that institutional investors will continue to buy, because the business is doing well and they need some exposure to retail.
And another stock doing well is Nike, seen by Foot Locker's results. Shares are up 14% on the year and management commentary from a number of different companies points to an improving situation for the athletic apparel maker, Cramer said.
Updated to include closing stock price.