Foot Locker, Inc. :FL-US: Earnings Analysis: Q4, 2017 By the Numbers : March 27, 2017

Foot Locker, Inc. reports financial results for the quarter ended January 31, 2017.

We analyze the earnings along side the following peers of Foot Locker, Inc. – Genesco Inc., DSW Inc. Class A, Shoe Carnival, Inc., NIKE, Inc. Class B and Caleres, Inc. (GCO-US, DSW-US, SCVL-US, NKE-US and CAL-US) that have also reported for this period.


  • Summary numbers: Revenues of USD 2113 million, Net Earnings of USD 189 million.
  • Gross margins widened from 31.69% to 31.85% compared to the same period last year, operating (EBITDA) margins now 15.05% from 14.35%.
  • Year-on-year change in operating cash flow of 9.37% is about the same as the change in earnings, likely no significant movement in accruals or reserves.
  • Earnings growth from operating margin improvements as well as one-time items.

The table below shows the preliminary results and recent trends for key metrics such as revenues and net income growth:

2017-01-31 2016-10-31 2016-07-31 2016-04-30 2016-01-31
Relevant Numbers (Quarterly)
Revenues (mil) 2113 1886 1780 1987 2007
Revenue Growth (%YOY) 5.28 5.13 5.01 3.71 5.02
Earnings (mil) 189 157 127 191 158
Earnings Growth (%YOY) 19.62 96.25 6.72 3.8 8.22
Net Margin (%) 8.94 8.32 7.13 9.61 7.87
EPS 1.42 1.17 0.94 1.39 1.14
Return on Equity (%) 28.3 24.1 19.34 29.23 24.78
Return on Assets (%) 20.07 16.85 13.51 20.28 16.92

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Market Share Versus Profits

Revenues History
Earnings History

FL-US‘s change in revenue this period compared to the same period last year of 5.28% is almost the same as its change in earnings, and is about average among the announced results thus far in its peer group, suggesting that FL-US is holding onto its market share. Also, for comparison purposes, revenues changed by 12.04% and earnings by 20.38% compared to the immediate last period.

Revenues Growth Versus Earnings Growth

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Leader, Earnings Focus, Laggard, Revenues Focus

Earnings Growth Analysis

The company’s earnings growth was influenced by year-on-year improvement in gross margins from 31.69% to 31.85% as well as better cost controls. As a result, operating margins (EBITDA margins) rose from 14.35% to 15.05% compared to the same period last year. For comparison, gross margins were 31.81% and EBITDA margins were 14.58% in the last reporting period.

Gross Margin Versus EBITDA Margin

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Differentiated; Low Cost, Commodity; Low Cost, Commodity; High Cost, Differentiated; High Cost

Gross Margin Trend

Companies sometimes sacrifice improvements in revenues and margins in order to extend friendlier terms to customers and vendors. Capital Cube probes for such activity by comparing the changes in gross margins with any changes in working capital. If the gross margins improved without a worsening of working capital, it is possible that the company’s performance is a result of truly delivering in the marketplace and not simply an accounting prop-up using the balance sheet.

Gross Margin History
Working Capital Days History

FL-US‘s gross margin improvement has not produced any big difference in its working capital. Working capital days are currently 85.75, compared to last year’s level of 84.33 days. This leads Capital Cube to conclude that the improvements in gross margins are likely from operating decisions and not trade-offs with the balance sheet.

Gross Margin Versus Working Capital Days

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Customer Financed, Cash Starved, Supplier Financed, Cash Rich

Cash Versus Earnings – Sustainable Performance?

It is important to examine a company�s cash versus earnings numbers to gauge whether its performance is sustainable.

FL-US‘s change in operating cash flow of 9.37% compared to the same period last year is about the same as its change in earnings this period. Additionally, this change in operating cash flow is about average among its peer group. This suggests that the company did not use accruals or reserves to manage earnings this period, and that, all else being equal, the earnings number is sustainable.

Operating Cash Flow Growth Versus Earnings Growth

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Cash Flow based Earnings, Likely Non-cash Earnings, Low Cash Flow Base, Likely Undeclared Earnings


The company’s earnings growth has also been influenced by the following factors: (1) Improvements in operating (EBIT) margins from 12.41% to 13.16% and (2) one-time items. The company’s pretax margins are now 13.30% compared to 12.21% for the same period last year.

EBIT Margin Versus PreTax Margin

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Operation driven Earnings, One-time Favorables, Low Earnings Base, One-time Unfavorables
EBIT Margin History
PreTax Margin History

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Company Profile

Foot Locker, Inc. engages in the global retail of athletically inspired shoes and apparel. It operates through the following segments: Athletic Stores and Direct-to-Customers. The Athletic Stores segment operates athletic footwear and apparel retailers in the world, with brands that include Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, SIX:02, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Footaction, Runners Point and Sidestep. The Direct-to-Customers segment includes, Inc. and other affiliates, including Eastbay, Inc., and company’s international ecommerce businesses, which sell to customers through their Internet and mobile sites and catalogs. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in New York, NY.

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