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By
Reuters
Published
Mar 27, 2009
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Finish Line quarterly profit tops Street view

By
Reuters
Published
Mar 27, 2009

NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) - Athletic shoe and clothing retailer Finish Line Inc (FINL.O) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit before special items on Friday March 27, helped by lighter inventories and cost cuts.



On a net basis, the company's loss narrowed to $1.4 million, or 3 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 28 from $39.2 million, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier, when costs from a failed merger with Genesco Inc (GCO.N) hurt results.

Excluding items in the latest quarter, profit was 36 cents per share, topping the analysts' average forecast of 34 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net sales fell 4.9 percent to $364.1 million as same-store sales, a key measure of retail performance, fell 3.9 percent.

Indianapolis-based Finish Line has been paring back its inventory and cutting costs to offset a slump in consumer spending that has hurt mall-based chain stores.

The company operates more than 700 U.S. stores that primarily sell footwear from vendors such as Nike Inc (NKE.N) and Adidas AG (ADSG.DE), but also clothing and accessories.

Earlier this week, the retailer named Ed Wilhelm its new chief financial officer. He was previously CFO at bookseller Borders Group Inc (BGP.N). (Reporting by Martinne Geller in New York and Alexandria Sage in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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