FOOTSTAR REPORTS 36.7% HIKE OVER 1999 QUARTER

NEW YORK — Topping Wall Street estimates by more than a nickel, Footstar Inc. reported third-quarter earnings of $24.6 million, or $1.21 a diluted share, a 36.7 percent improvement over the year-ago quarter.
Analysts expected the Mahwah, N.J.-based footwear and apparel retailer to post earnings of $1.15 a share.
Earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30 included an aftertax benefit of $541,000 from the reversal of $859,000 of a $34.4 million 1999 restructuring charge. Net income for the year-ago quarter was $18 million, or 83 cents.
Sales for the quarter rose 26 percent to $592.7 million against $470.3 million a year ago. On a comparable-store basis, sales rose 5.1 percent.
Referring to the company’s Meldisco, Footaction and Just For Feet units, Mickey Robinson, chairman and chief executive, noted in a statement: “All three areas of our business are performing well and contributed to this remarkable performance.”
He also noted that the athletic segment — which includes apparel and accessories such as warmup suits, T-shirts and athletic shorts — should end the month with a 10 percent increase in same-store sales, despite soft apparel sales nationally.
Net income for the nine months decreased 4.9 percent to $42.8 million, or $2.11 a diluted share, against $45 million, or $2.02, a year ago. During the first quarter of 1999 the company recorded a reversal of a 1997 charge of $2.9 million, or $1.8 million after taxes, related to warehouse and service center consolidation.
Sales for the period rose 16.8 percent to $1.62 billion against $1.39 billion during the year-ago period.
The company expects to meet Wall Street’s fourth-quarter and full-year estimates of $1.08 and $3.11, respectively.

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