Foot Locker’s stock soars after outlook for surprise second-quarter profit and sales increase

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Shares of Foot Locker Inc. soared 16% in premarket trading Monday, after the athletic shoe and gear retailer said it expects to report a surprise fiscal second-quarter profit, as the reopening of stores helped drive a surprise jump in sales. The company expects net earnings per share of 38 cents to 42 cents, down from 55 cents a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, the company expects to report adjusted EPS of 66 cents to 70 cents, while the FactSet consensus was for a per-share loss of 60 cents. The company said same-store sales for the quarter rose about 18%, compared with the FactSet consensus for a decline of 23.6%. “As we continued to reopen stores throughout the quarter, we saw a strong customer response to our assortments, which we believe was aided by pent-up demand and the effect of fiscal stimulus,” said Chief Executive Richard Johnson. “This fueled our in-store sales and also drove continued momentum across our digital channels.” The stock has dropped 29.5% year to date through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.7%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.