Ahead of the Bell: Finish Line 2Q

Analysts praise strong 2nd-quarter results from Finish Line

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Finish Line is benefiting from strong footwear trends and cost cutting and those trends are expected to continue, analysts say.

The athletic shoe and apparel retailers on Friday reported second quarter net income jumped 6 percent, much higher than analysts expected, helped by stronger revenue and a deal with Macy's. The company raised its forecast for revenue open in stores open for at least one year. It now expects the measure, a key gauge of a retailer's financial health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year, to rise in the low single digit percentage range, up from a prior forecast of a slight increase.

Its shares jumped 9 percent on Friday, reaching a 52-week high of $24.70.

Some analysts say they expect the strong trends to continue. Janney Capital Markets analyst said in a note to investors on Monday that the potential exists for a re-acceleration of revenue in stores open at least one year, as comparisons from a year ago ease and new running shoes like the Nike Free Flyknit and Adi Boost/Springblade flying off shelves. He kept his "Buy" rating on the stock.

Others were more cautious. Canaccord Genuity analyst Camilo Lyon said Finish Line is managing its business well, but added there's a rising disconnect between rising prices and the need for discounts to spur sales that could pressure results in the future. He kept his "Hold" rating on the stock.

Shares of Finish Line Inc. have traded between $16.87 and $24.70 over the past year.

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