Finish Line’s Stock Pops After Narrower Q3 Loss

Shares of The Finish Line Inc. rallied on Thursday after the Indianapolis-based company reported a loss of $12.9 million in its fiscal third quarter, narrowing from $40.4 million a year earlier.

On the heels of the news, the company’s stock price rose more than 13 percent, as of midday trading, to $13.24 a share.

The specialty athletic retailer stated in its quarterly report that its diluted earnings per share saw a net loss of 26 cents per share.

For the third quarter, Finish Line’s net sales increased 1.8 percent over the prior year, to $378.5 million, despite the reduced prices of product that defined the three-month period. The firm also stated comparable sales increased 0.8 percent and sales at its Macy’s doors climbed 2.3 percent.

“We finished the third quarter ahead of expectations despite a highly promotional environment for athletic footwear,” Finish Line CEO Sam Sato said. “The growth initiatives that we’ve put in place are driving increased traffic to our brand and helping increase conversion. While we responded to certain pricing actions in the marketplace to be competitive, we delivered gross margin in line with forecasts and remained highly disciplined in managing expenses and inventories. Looking ahead, we continue to be cautious in the near term, but I am confident that the work we are doing to position the company for long-term growth and enhanced profitability is gaining traction.”

Looking ahead, Finish Line said for its full year outlook, announced in August, it expects Q3 comparable sales to decrease 2 percent to 3 percent and adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of 59 cents to 67 cents.

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