Finish Line: Racing to profits

This specialty athletic retailer is in good shape to fuel its expansion.

By TheStockAdvisors Mar 22, 2013 10:34AM

Arrow Up Photodisc PhotolibraryBy Russ Kaplan, Heartland Advisor


Our newest stock recommendation is specialty retail store Finish Line (FINL), which deals with clothing and athletic shoes. It is especially known for its wide variety of top quality shoe brands it sells.


I know many investors are concerned about the U.S.'s weak economy. However, don't forget about the rapidly growing middle class in Asia.


From a high of $26.20 per share in 2012, the stock is now trading in the $18 range, which to me is a severe overreaction to current economic conditions. Despite this drop in value, Finish Line has a return on equity of 13%.


Three runners in Indianapolis, IN, started the company in 1976. Their intent was to bring athletic shoes to Indianapolis. Later, they bought out The Athletes' Shoe store franchises, and turned them into Finish Line stores.


The company currently has 664 stores throughout the United States. Finish Line also has a strong web presence spanning the whole world.


Finish Line is in good shape financially and is one of the few companies with zero long-term debt, which gives it a lot of expansion potential.


Recently, Finish Line signed an agreement with Macy's (M) to operate 450 of its stores within the Macy's chain. The company also has plenty of the free cash flow it would need for its current expansion plans.


Management owns a large amount of the Class A shares, which are available to the public, plus all of the Class B shares. To me there is no better way of saying that they are focused on the long term.


This is a stock for those interested in growth, as it does not pay a high dividend.


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