Finish Line reports rising quarterly, annual earnings

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The Finish Line Inc. said Friday that strong same-store sales and improvements to its website helped the company achieve a big profit in its fourth quarter, which included the all-important holiday shopping season.

For its fiscal fourth quarter ended March 1, the Indianapolis-based sports-apparel retailer earned $43 million, or 87 cents per share, compared with $34.3 million, or 69 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

The earnings beat estimates by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters by 2 cents per share.

Revenue rose 17.2 percent, to $518.9 million.

Same-store sales, which exclude sales at stores open less than a year, were up 6.3 percent, compared with less than 1 percent in the year-ago period.

“Our strong fourth quarter performance represented a great finish to a transformative year,” Finish Line CEO Glenn Lyon said in a prepared statement. “The successful execution of our consumer-centric omni-channel strategy drove solid gains in our core business while growth initiatives contributed meaningfully to our record full-year revenue and profits.”

For the entire fiscal year, Finish Line earned $76.9 million, or $1.56 per share, compared with $71.5 million, or $1.40 per share in fiscal 2013.

Revenue increased 15.7 percent, to nearly $1.7 billion.

In premarket trading Friday, Finish Line shares rose 2.2 percent, to $27.06 each, a day after falling 3.3 percent. The stock is down nearly 4 percent since the beginning of the year.

Finish Line operates 644 stores in malls across the country and manages the athletic footwear inventory in 651 Macy’s stores, including 210 branded or staffed shops.

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