Finish Line Q1 Trumps Street

Shares of Finish Line Inc. surged Friday as the firm reported better-than-expected first-quarter results.

Earnings per share came in at 20 cents, trumping Wall Street’s estimate of 16 cents. Adjusted for the impact of startup costs related to the launch of shop-in-shops in Macy’s doors, however, EPS was 10 cents.
Revenue advanced 10 percent to $351.1 million, from $319 million a year ago. Analysts were expecting $343 million, as polled by Yahoo Finance.

The Indianapolis-based firm’s shares spiked nearly 4 percent after the opening bell, to around $22.02.

“Improving trends in our Finish Line running business, combined with continued strength in basketball and disciplined expense management, drove our results,” Chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon said in a statement.

He added, “The quarter was marked by significant progress on our key growth initiatives, including the well-received launch of our Macy’s business in stores and online, and the expansion of the Running Specialty Group footprint with the acquisition of some very productive doors.”

In a separate statement late Thursday, Finish Line announced that Steve Schneider, currently president and COO, will transition to the role of EVP of strategic initiatives, effective July 1.

The move is part of Schneider’s long-term plan toward retirement after 24 years at the firm, explained Lyon.

“Steve’s incredible business acumen, his strong operational analysis and his keen vision for planning will be key to implementing Finish Line’s long-term strategic growth plan,” Lyon said.

For fiscal 2014, Finish Line expects EPS to increase in the mid-single digits over 2013, on a slight increase in comparable-store sales.

The firm ended the period with $195.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, and no interest-bearing debt.

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