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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to the [Foot Locker, Inc.] Fourth Quarter 2010 Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] This conference call may contain forward looking statements that reflect management’s current views of future events and financial performance. These forward looking statements are based on many assumptions and factors, including the effects of currency fluctuations, customer preferences, economic and market conditions worldwide and other risks and uncertainties described in the company’s press release and SEC filings. We refer you to Foot Locker, Inc.’s most recently filed aOlernKienOP
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I will now turn the call over to Mr. Peter Brown, Senior Vice President, Chief information Officer and Investor Relations. Mr. Brown, you may begin.

Good morning. We are pleased with our fourth quarter results, which represents the fourth consecutive quarter of sales and profit increases versus the corresponding periods of the prior year. On a GAAP basis, our net income was $0.36 per share for the fourth quarter of 2010 versus $0.14 per share last year. Our results included net charges of $0.03 per share this year and $0.10 per share last year that we’ve excluded in the non GAAP comparison that is included in yesterday’s press release. This non GAAP comparison shows an earnings increase of 63% to $0.39 per share this year versus $0.24 per share last year. During our prepared comments this morning, we will refer to our financial results on a non GAAP adjusted basis to help facilitate your analysis of our financial results.

Bob McHugh, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will begin our prepared remarks with a review of our financial results, including the charges that we’ve excluded in our non GAAP adjusted comparison. Ken Hicks, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, aOlernKienOP
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The highlights of our fourth quarter performance include the following: comp store sales increased 7.3%; gross margin rate improved by 210 aOlernKienOP
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I’ll now turn the call over to Bob McHugh.

Good morning. As Peter mentioned, I will discuss our quarterly results for this year and last year on a non GAAP basis, which includes the adjustments detailed in our press release.

The fourth quarter adjusted results were higher than our expectations going into the quarter and slightly above the Wall Street consensus estimate due to three key factors. during the last half of January, which coincides with a seasonal low point in terms of customer demand. Overall, by month, comp store sales increased high single digits in November and December and increased mid single digits in January. apparel business.

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Improved inventory management has allowed us to take strategic steps, such as reducing our store promotional events and clearance activity, while also fostering programs aOlernKienOP
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Depreciation expense for the fourth quarter was $27 million, in line with both the fourth quarter of last year and each of the first three quarters of this year. Net interest expense for the fourth quarter was $2 million, in line with aOlernKienOP
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Moving to our balance sheet. Our merchandise inventory is well positioned at the end of the fourth quarter and just 2.1% higher than at the same time last year. Additionally, our merchandise inventory is current and within a more stringent aging standard that we adopted last year. and Canadian pension funds.

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