Foot Locker Shares Gain After Profit Tops Estimates

Foot Locker Inc., the largest U.S. athletic shoe store chain, surged to its highest in New York trading in more than three years after reporting third-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates.

Foot Locker climbed $1.91, or 12 percent, to $18.35 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, its highest close since July 31, 2007. The shares have advanced 65 percent this year. Skechers USA Inc., the second-largest U.S. athletic shoe maker, rose 4.9 percent today, while Nike Inc., the world’s biggest sporting-goods provider, gained 4.1 percent.

Foot Locker, led by Chief Executive Officer Ken Hicks, has cut back on promotional events to boost revenue, while benefiting from lower rental costs in U.S. shopping malls. The retailer is operating 127 fewer stores than last year.

Third-quarter profit was $52 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with a loss of $6 million, or 4 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said in a statement yesterday after the market closed. Analysts predicted earnings per share of 16 cents, the average of 13 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales increased 5.4 percent to $1.28 billion, compared with analysts’ estimates of $1.22 billion.

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