Foot Locker Inc FL
Q3 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 11/18/2011

Operator: Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Release Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session.

This conference call may contain forward-looking statements that reflect management's current views of future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements are based on many assumptions and factors, including the effects of currency fluctuations, customer preferences, economic and market conditions worldwide, and other risks and uncertainties described in the Company's press releases and SEC filings.

We refer you to Foot Locker, Inc.'s most recently filed Form 10-K or Form 10-Q for a complete description of these factors. Any changes in such assumptions or factors could produce significantly different results and actual results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements.

If you have not received yesterday's release, it is available on the Internet at or Please note that this conference is being recorded.

I will now turn the call over to Mr. John Maurer; Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations. Mr. Maurer, you may begin.

John A. Maurer - VP, Treasurer and IR: Thank you and good morning. Welcome to Foot Locker's third quarter 2011 earnings release conference call. As we highlighted in our press release yesterday afternoon, we earned $66 million or $0.43 per share in the third quarter this year, up 30% compared to the $0.33 we earned in the same period last year. Our third quarter comp sales increased 7.4% relative to last year. These results represent the 7th consecutive quarter of sales and profit increases over the comparable prior year periods. Year-to-date, we have earned $1.27 per share compared to $0.71 in the first nine months of 2010 an increase of 79%. These improved earnings have been driven primarily by our year-to-date comp sales gain of 10.6% and strong margin expansion.

Lauren Peters, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer will begin our prepared comments with additional details about our third quarter financial results and how we are planning the fourth quarter. Ken Hicks, our Chairman and CEO will then discuss the success we are having as we implement the key initiatives of our strategic plan. Ken will also focus on some of the opportunities and challenges we face in the athletic industry as we head into the key holiday shopping season and into 2012. And as always we will have time to answer your questions after we wrap up our prepared remarks.

Lauren B. Peters - EVP and CFO: Thank you, John, and good morning to you all. As John mentioned, we had another excellent quarter, earning $0.43 per share versus $0.33 last year, a 30% increase. We produced strong overall sales gains a robust gross margin gain of 220 basis points during the quarter. Starting with the top line, we achieved a 7.4% comp sales increase continuing the strong sales results that we produced in the first half of the year. Total sales increased 8.9% when factoring in the impact of foreign currencies and increased 7.3% on a constant currency basis.

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