Nike LeBron 12 Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the first quarter 2010 earnings release conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session.
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 releases and SEC filings. We refer you to Foot Locker, Inc.’s most recently filed Form 10 K or Form 10 Q for a complete aOlernKienOP Nike KD 7 Quick Potato Shoe Shine description of these factors.
Any changes in such assumptions or factors could produce significantly different results, and actual results may differ materially from those contained in the forward looking statements. Please note that this conference is being recorded.
Good morning. As reported yesterday afternoon, our first quarter earnings were $0.34 per share this year versus $0.20 per share last year. Bob McHugh, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will begin the call with a discussion of our first quarter financial results. Bob will also discuss our expectations for the second quarter. Ken Hicks, our Chairman and CEO, will follow with an operational and strategic update. After our prepared remarks, we will leave time to answer your questions.
Overall, we’re very encouraged by our financial results for the quarter, which included a 70% increase in our earnings per share versus the first quarter of last year. Our earnings per share increase was fueled by the following key factors: A comp store sales increase of 4.8%, a gross margin rate increase of 140 basis points, an SG expense rate improvement of 100 basis points, and depreciation expense that declined by $2million.
Just as important, we produced very strong cash flow during the quarter as our total cash position net of debt was $190million favorable to last year. I will now turn the call over to Bob McHugh.
Good morning. As Peter stated, Nike LeBron 12 we are very encouraged by our first quarter financial results, which exceeded our expectations going into the quarter and position us well for continuing growth in the coming year. We got off to a good start. Our aOlernKienOP Air Jordan 6 Rings Leather Repair Schools financial results are particularly encouraging given that the external environment in the United States has not yet returned to pre recession levels and consumers are still cautious about spending.
In this regard, while some economic metrics such as consumer confidence, employment, and GDP are improving slightly, these figures have not translated into a more normalized consumer spending environment in the United States. Therefore, at the same time as we are encouraged with our first quarter financial results, we believe that the best course of action for us is to remain cautious in our planning process until we see greater evidence of a sustainable economic recovery. businesses while achieving the high end of our expectations at our combined international stores.
Our better than expected domestic sales Air Jordan 17s results were accomplished while reducing our level of promotions and special events allowing us to strategically redirect markdowns Nike Air Foamposite One towards clearing slow selling products. The effect of the strategic change is reflected in both the year over year improvement in our merchandise margin rate and inventory aging.
First quarter comparable store sales by region and segment were as follows. store operations increased mid single digits. The best performances were our in our Lady Foot Locker, Champs, and Foot Locker divisions. Our dot com segment increased low single digits. Europe increased mid single digits. Foot Locker Canada increased mid single digits. And Foot Locker Asia Pacific decreased low double digits after increasing low double digits during last year’s government stimulus fueled consumer spending environment.
By month, our results were very solid in February for the second year in a row with comp store sales increasing mid single digits. Comp store sales increased low double digits in March as we benefited from an early spring and the Easter shift from the first week of April last year to the last week of March this year.
Conversely, reflecting trends seen across the retail sector, our comp store sales decreased low to mid single digits in April. Taken together, our combined comp store sales aOlernKienOP Air Jordan Women Size Richard Petty Motorsports plans to run full 2010 seas in March and April were fairly comparable with the month of February. Our first quarter gross margin rate increased by 140 basis points from last year, reflecting an 80 basis point improvement in our merchandise margin rate and 60 basis points of leverage on our primarily fixed buying and occupancy expenses.
The improvement in our merchandise margin rate primarily reflects lower markdowns and stock shortages as we benefited from a more favorable inventory position than last year. Our first quarter buying and occupancy expenses on a constant currency basis were $3million below last year.
Our aOlernKienOP Air Jordan 6s How To Make a Luggage Tag total occupancy expenses are currently impacted by four key factors. First, in some of the B and C malls where we operate, we are benefiting from lower occupancy costs through rent negotiations. Second, in the better A rated malls, we continue to experience increases at rent renewals; however, our recent rent increases have been less than we have experienced in Jordan 9 Retro the past. Keep in mind, however, that our profits are generally higher in these stores as well because of the higher level of productivity. And fourth, we are operating 148 fewer stores than at this time last year.
Our first quarter SG rate improved by 100 basis points versus the first quarter of last year, reflecting leverage on our fixed expense base. First quarter SGA expenses in dollars increased $2million versus last year. On a constant currency basis, our first quarter SG expenses decreased $4million. The decrease in our SG expenses on a constant currency basis primarily reflects lower division overhead as well as reduced store wages and other store costs due to operating fewer stores, partially offset by some increased variable expenses such as banking costs and incentive compensation accruals.
Depreciation expense for the quarter was $26million or $2million favorable to last year, primarily reflecting the asset impairment writedowns last year. Net interest expense for the first quarter was $3million this year versus $2million last year, reflecting lower interest rates on our short term investments. Our first quarter income tax rate this year was 36%, slightly favorable to last year’s tax rate of 37%.
All these factors taken together contributed to our earnings per diluted share increase of 70%. From a balance sheet perspective, our merchandise inventory position at the end of the first aOlernKienOP Air Jordan 11s How to tell the fake Dior shoes from the genuine Dior mens s quarter was $91million or 7.4% lower than at the same time last year. On a constant currency basis, our first Air Jordan 15s quarter inventories in total were 8.7% lower than last year and, on a per square foot basis, 4.5% lower than last year.
We ended the quarter in a very strong financial position with $616million of cash and short term investments and just $137million of balance sheet debt. Our total cash position net of debt was $190million favorable to the same time last year. aOlernKienOP Air Jordan 11s Your First Pointe Shoes We repurchased 500,000 shares of our common stock during the quarter for $7.7million under our $250million share repurchase plan that was extended by our board this past February.
In aOlernKienOP Jordan Winterized 6 Rings Man’s agony as he sees his dog knocked down in summary, we are off to a good start to the year with both a very strong earnings increase and substantial cash flow from operations. While mall traffic and consumer confidence in the United States is improving, we believe that in the near term there remains much uncertainty in regard to consumer spending. Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, we will remain cautious in how we plan and manage our business.
For the second quarter of this year, we expect our financial performance to reflect the following: A comp store sales increase in the low single digits; total sales to be approximately 3% lower than our comp store sales due to operating approximately 4% fewer stores than last year aOlernKienOP Air Jordan 8s How to Dance and Role Play Like Michael Jackson and the effect of changes in foreign exchange rates; gross margin rate, including both our cost of merchandise and occupancy expenses, to improve 40 to 60 basis points versus the second quarter of last year; total SG expenses to increase approximately $10million versus the second quarter of last year primarily reflecting increased incentive compensation accruals, offset in part from expected cost saving measures; depreciation expense of approximately $26million; interest expense of $3million; an income tax rate of 36% to 37%; and, finally, we expect that foreign currency translation will not have a material effect on our earnings comparisons to last year’s second quarter results.
This estimate is based on current exchange rates which reflect the weakening Euro currency offset by the strengthening of the Canadian dollar. This second quarter outlook is in line with the comments that we made during our March conference call, when I stated that we expect our second quarter comparison to the same period of last year to be our most difficult due to the significant expense reductions reflected in the 2009 results.
At the same time as we are planning our second quarter sales cautiously, we are encouraged by recent sales results which reflect a mid single digit comp store sales increase for the first two and a half weeks of May. We are planning on a sales gain for the quarter below this recent trend due Air Jordan DMP to the uncertainty of the external environment and, therefore, are planning our second quarter EPS to be slightly below last year’s level.
However, if the current sales trend were to continue, along with some additional margin rate expansion, we would expect to generate a profit increase for the quarter. I will now turn the program over to Ken Hicks.
Thank you, Bob. Good morning. I’m quite pleased with the substantial progress that we’ve made as an organization over the past several months, which is Jordan Retro 9 validated by our first quarter financial results. As you know, we invested a great deal of time during the fall season of last year making strategic decisions for the long term and aOlernKienOP Air Jordan 13s Rip the trails this summer with the new VIVOBAREFOOT Trail F planning our business carefully for 2010 and beyond. It is very satisfying to see aOlernKienOP Air Jordan 5s The Best Shoes for Boxing that the hard work of our associates and the initiatives that we have put in place are reflected in our improved performance.
I want to thank all of our associates Air Jordan 12s in our stores, home offices, distribution centers, and data and finance centers for delivering these strong sales and profit results. Without the entire organization’s hard work, these results would not have been possible.
From an internal standpoint, I believe five key factors led to our profit increase. First, our improved inventory position at the beginning of the year allowed us to flow fresh assortments to our business on a more timely basis and make strong merchandising statements on fresh goods throughout the quarter. We were able to bring in many of the new products that delivered in the quarter and also a strong statement with many of our ongoing programs.
Second, our strategy of broadening our merchandise assortments allowed us to service a more diverse customer Air Jordan 2011 base and increase sales in more categories. Third, we executed well at the store level by keeping our associates focused on customer service and managing store hours efficiently. Fourth, our tight control of tenancy and operating costs led to a very strong flow from incremental sales to incremental profits. And fifth, our continued improvements in working capital management and conservative capital allocation policy led to a strong cash flow and the Air Jordan 2010 strengthening of our financial position.