Finish Line off to strong start in latest fiscal year

Fiscal first-quarter earnings from The Finish Line Inc. exceeded analyst expectations as profit and revenue both grew.

For the quarter ended May 30, the Indianapolis-based retailer of athletic apparel reported profit of $13.8 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with $12.4 million, or 25 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 9.1 percent, to $443.4 million.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 24 cents per share on revenue of $430 million.

Same-store sales, a key figure that considers stores open at least a year, increased 5.5 percent.

For the fiscal year ending Feb. 27, Finish Line predicts earnings per share of $1.67, below analyst expectations of $1.76.

Inventory increased 9.6 percent, to $323.3 million.

Finish Line operates 1,020 stores in malls and Macy’s department stores and 76 Running Specialty shops.

Company shares jumped 6.5 percent, to $28.75 each, in pre-market trading.

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