Finish Line reports strong quarter as same-store sales rise

Strong same-store sales and continuing website improvements helped push The Finish Line Inc. to a big profit in its first quarter, the Indianapolis-based sports-apparel retailer reported Friday morning.
For its fiscal first quarter ended May 31, the company earned $10.7 million, or 25 cents per share, beating analyst estimates by 4 cents. That compares with $4.5 million, or 10 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 16 percent, to $406.5 million.

Same-store sales, which exclude sales at stores open less than a year, were up 5 percent compared with an increase of 2.4 percent in its previous first quarter.

“The integration of our store and digital operations is allowing us to deliver great product and service to consumers in a seamless fashion no matter what channel they choose to shop,” Finish Line CEO Glenn Lyon said in a prepared statement. “At the same time, we are reaching new consumers and expanding market share through our growing relationship with Macy’s.”

Finish Line operates 645 stores in malls across the country and manages the athletic footwear inventory in about 700 Macy’s stores, including 260 branded or staffed shops. The company also operates 58 specialty running stores under its Running Specialty Group division.

The company said it expects its earnings per share for the full year to increase in the high-single to low-double-digit range from its earnings of $1.66 per share the year before. It didn't provide a specific number. Analysts expect earnings of $1.85 per share for the year ending February 2015, which is an 11-percent increase from the year before.

Finish Line's stock rose 92 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $30.07 per share, in morning trading. Earlier this month, the stock hit a 52-week high of $30.48 per share.

The company repurchased 700,000 shares of common stock, totaling $18.7 million, in its first quarter.

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