Athletic shoe retailer Foot Locker ( FL) said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 7.9%, helped by one-time gains.

The company earned $96 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with $89 million, or 57 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 55 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Earnings in the quarter included a credit of 2 cents a share from insurance proceeds and a credit of 4 cents a share due to a reduction in income tax valuation allowance.

Revenue for the fourth quarter increased 1.9% to $1.56 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.57 billion in the quarter. Comparable-store sales increased 3.9% in the quarter.

The company expects to earn 37 cents 40 cents a share in the first quarter. Analysts were looking for first-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share. For the full year, it expects earnings of $1.75 to $1.85 a share. Analysts were forecasting earnings of $1.82 a share.

The company predicts a low-to-mid single digit percentage rise in comparable-store sales in 2006.

Foot Locker said it plans to open about 175 new stores, remodel and relocate 350 stores and close 110 stores.

"Our financial results in 2005 reflected solid sales and profit gains posted by our combined North American businesses, which were partially offset by declines in certain international markets," the company said.
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