The Finish Line, Inc. reported net sales of $207,805,000 for the thirteen weeks ended May 31, 2003, an increase of 22% over net sales of $170,576,000 for Q1 last year which ended June 1, 2002. Comparable store net sales for Q1 increased 14% on top of a 3% increase reported for the comparable thirteen-week period last year.
Mr. Alan H. Cohen (President and Chief Executive Officer) stated: “We are extremely pleased with our 1st quarter sales which exceeded plan and were driven by strength in men’s, women’s and children’s footwear led by Nike along with accelerating performance in apparel, especially from licensed products. During Q1, footwear comparable store sales increased 10% and apparel/accessories comparable store sales increased 37%. For Q1, we anticipate the gross profit percentage to improve over Q1 LY, in spite of the ongoing promotional retail environment and the Company’s clearance of goods to keep inventory fresh.”
Due to sales exceeding plan, the Company now anticipates that diluted income per share for the 1st quarter will range from $.26 to $.28 cents as compared to previous guidance of diluted income per share of $.17 to $.19 cents. For Q1 LY, the Company reported diluted income per share of $.15 cents. For the current fiscal year, net income is now expected within a range of $1.15 – $1.20 per share up from previous guidance of $.99 to $1.03 per share. We expect to report earnings for Q1 on Monday, June 30th, after the market closes followed by a live conference call Tuesday morning, July 1st at 8:30 am ET.
During Q1, the Company opened 15 new stores, remodeled 10 stores and closed two stores. For the current fiscal year, the Company expects to open 55 new stores, an increase over the previous new store guidance of 50 stores, remodel 20 existing stores and close 5-10 stores. As of May 31, 2003, the Company operated 490 stores compared to 451 at June 1, 2002, an increase of 9%. In addition, store square footage increased 7% to 2,890,000 square feet compared to 2,713,000 square feet at the end of Q1 last year.
The Company did not repurchase any shares of Class A Common Stock during Q1 under the current stock repurchase authorization, which expires February 28, 2004. To date the Company has repurchased 1,861,600 shares (@ an average price of $8.34 per share) of the 2,500,000 shares authorized by the Board of Directors.