Finish Line Scores a Strong Q1 Boost to Profit, Sales

Grand Opening at Finish Line's Buckhead Store

Grand Opening at Finish Line’s Buckhead Store

Indianapolis—Finish Line Inc. reported Friday that its fiscal first quarter profit more than doubled as sales and margins expanded, the latest example of sporting-apparel chains outperforming other retailers.

For the three months ended May 31, the sport/athletic wear retailer posted a profit of $12.4 million, or 25 cents a share, compared to $5.1 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings checked in at 28 cents a share.

Net revenue grew 16% to $406.5 million.

The results beat analysts’ average estimates of 21 cents a share and revenue of $394.5 million.

The strong results caused shares of Finish Line to rise 4.8% to $30.54 in premarket trading as the results easily surpassed analysts’ expectations.

Macy ‘s Connection

Comparable store sales were up 5% compared with the 7.6% jump that larger rival Foot Locker Inc. posted last month. Sporting-apparel retailers have enjoyed better results even as other retailers have blamed rough winter weather for sputtering sales during the early part of the year, analysts noted.

Finish Line Chairman/CEO Glenn Lyon also credited the company’s expanding presence in Macy’s Inc. stores for its growing customer base and market share. Macy’s itself is one of the few traditional retailers that have endured declining sales and traffic amid a tepid economic recovery for consumers.

“We are very pleased with the strong start to fiscal 2015 we delivered in the first quarter,” said Lyon, “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. At the same time, we are reaching new consumers and expanding market share through our growing relationship with Macy’s. We are confident that our multidivisional, omnichannel strategies will strengthen our market position and drive growth in sales and earnings, allowing us to return increased value to our shareholders in the years ahead.”

Gross margin expanded to 31.7% from 30.5% as input costs rose 14% to $277.7 million.

Finish Line reaffirmed its guidance for the year.

Finish Line also operates the Running Specialty Group. This includes 58 specialty running shops in 12 states and the District of Columbia under The Running Company, Run On!, Blue Mile, Boulder Running Company, Roncker’s Running Spot, Running Fit and VA Runner banners. More information, including the particular states in which stores are located, is available at www.run.com.

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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com