Foot Locker tanks 16% on weak earnings as sneaker sales lag

Key Points
  • The athletic shoe and apparel company reported first-quarter earnings per share of $1.36, falling short of the Street's forecast for $1.38, Thomson Reuters analysts said.
  • Foot Locker's stock tumbled following the disappointing earnings report.
  • Foot Locker said it was hurt by a strong dollar and by delayed tax refunds.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Foot Locker is the latest retailer to take a beating in the stock market, after posting first-quarter earnings Friday that disappointed on many levels as its sneaker sales lagged.

Foot Locker's stock was falling more than 16 percent shortly after market open, following the report.

The athletic shoe and apparel company reported first-quarter earnings per share of $1.36, falling short of the Street's forecast for $1.38, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

Foot Locker posted comparable sales — a metric closely watched by analysts for retail stocks — that grew a slight 0.5 percent, missing an expected 1.5 percent increase, according to FactSet. Disappointing same-store sales results has been a common thread for many retailers of late.

Meanwhile, its revenue for the period came in at $2.00 billion, short of the $2.02 billion that analysts were anticipating.

Foot Locker said it was hurt largely by a strong dollar and by delayed tax refunds that prevented U.S. consumers from spending earlier in the year.

CFO Lauren Peters told analysts and investors the company is working aggressively to implement opportunities that will lower its expenses.

"Foot Locker has kicked off its fiscal year with a somber set of numbers," GlobalData retail analyst Carter Harrison wrote in an email. "The question now is where does Foot Locker go from here?"

As of Thursday's close, shares of Foot Locker are down less than 1 percent for the year-to-date period but had managed to climb over 20 percent during the past 12 months.

The stock rebounded briefly earlier in the year on optimism around strong April sales data.

"Our banners remain at the center of a vibrant sneaker culture," CEO Richard Johnson said in a statement Friday, as he tried to reassure investors. "We are confident that our customers have not lost their tremendous appetite for athletic footwear and apparel and that our position in the industry is stronger than ever."

Susquehanna analyst Sam Poser wrote in a note to investors Friday morning: "[Foot Locker's] improving product offerings, excitement around Nike's NBA sponsorship, remodel lifts, and overall high engagement with customers should continue to drive results and share gains."

Poser suggests the retailer's March to May results will be more indicative of "true trends" in its business model.

FL 12-month performance

Source: FactSet