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Finish Line Disappoints in Q4

Finish Line experienced a rough fourth quarter. Consolidated net sales decreased 0.4% to $557.5 million, compared to the same period last year. Comparable sales were also down 4.5%.

“Our fourth quarter earnings performance represented a disappointing finish to a challenging year financially for our company,” said Sam Sato, Finish Line CEO. “As elements of our footwear offering did not resonate with our customers as we expected and the overall retail environment in February became increasingly difficult, we made the decision to get more aggressive on pricing to be competitive and clear slow moving product. While this allowed us to end fiscal 2017 with clean inventory levels, it put significant pressure on fourth quarter product margins.”

For FY 2017, consolidated net sales were $1.84 billion, a marginal increase of 2.5% compared to the year before. Comparable sales increased 0.3%, with a sales increase in Macy’s reaching almost 30 percent.

“We know we must improve the execution of our merchandise strategies to drive increased full price selling and fuel sustained comparable sales growth,” said Sato. “At the same time, we are confident that the numerous operational improvements we made throughout the past year have created a more efficient company with a stronger foundation to support enhanced profitability and increased shareholder value over the long-term.”

For FY 2018, the company anticipates low-single digit comparable sales increase and earnings per share to be around $1.12-$1.23, an increase of around 6-16 percent compared with the $1.06 Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share for FY 2017.