NEW YORK (AP) — Shares in Foot Locker sank in midday trading Friday after the athletic apparel retailer reported mixed results and said sales would likely continue to drag into 2018, spooking investors and analysts.

Comparable-stores sales — sales in stores open at least a year, an important metric retailers use which excludes the effect of new or closed stores — fell 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

"The first quarter of 2018 will likely see the continuation of sales and margins in line with trends in the second half of 2017," said Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Lauren Peters. "However, we are confident that we will inflect back to positive comparable-store sales by the middle of 2018."

Foot Locker said it expects comparable-store sales to be flat to up in the low single digits for the full fiscal year.

The New York-based company said it had a loss of $49 million, or 40 cents per share, in the quarter ended Feb. 3, reversing a year-earlier profit of $189 million, or $1.42 per share.

Quarterly earnings, adjusted for pretax expenses and non-recurring costs, came to $1.26 per share, however — surpassing Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.25 per share.

The shoe retailer — which operates more than 3,300 stores worldwide — posted revenue of $2.21 billion in the period, just missing Street forecasts of $2.22 billion.

For the full year, the company earned $284 million, or $2.22 per share, on a record $7.78 billion in sales.

Foot Locker Inc. shares have lost about half their value in the last 12 months. In midday trading shares changed hands at $39.02, down $6.86, or 15 percent.


Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights ( using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on FL at