Foot Locker's income jumps 21% in Q4

Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) reported a stellar end to 2014 with net income up 21 percent from last year, amounting to an increase of $24 million in year-over-year revenue. Same-store sales were up 10.2 percent.

The strong quarter was led by the direct-to-consumer segment, which saw an uptick of 21.9 percent in sales. The company's Eastbay banner was up in the low double-digits and U.S. stores and online businesses were collectively up 30 percent in sales.

The company has reached 20 consecutive quarters of sales and profit growth.

The year was a record breaker for the company with a total of $522 million in year-over-year net income, a 21 percent increase from 2013.

Foot Locker president and CEO Dick Johnson said that though the company was slightly delayed by the West Coast port slowdown last month, he believes the first quarter of the year is off to a good start.

Several key drivers fueled the company's success in the fourth quarter, including the continuing popularity of footwear. While general apparel sales were just shy of a double-digit increase, Foot Action apparel sales were up in the teens. Basketball and running footwear saw especially strong returns.

Johnson said there is a big opportunity to make gains in the apparel side of the business. "We are successfully transitioning our women's apparel mix to reflect a more premium offering from our key vendor partners, such as Nike, Under Armour and Adidas," he said. "There is still work in progress, but we feel very well aligned with our vendors on a shared strategy of emphasizing and growing the women's athletic apparel business."

Not bad for Johnson's first quarter as president and CEO. He took the helm of Foot Locker on Dec. 1, 2014, when former CEO Ken Hicks officially retired. Under Hicks' leadership last fall, Foot Locker launched a same-day delivery and an order online, pick up in-store program.

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