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What: Shares of Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ:FINL) jumped today after its first-quarter earnings report blew past expectations. As of 2:05 p.m. EDT, the stock was up 22.2%.

So what: The athletic apparel retailer topped bottom-line estimates by a penny with a profit of $0.23 per share, while comparable sales increased 1.5%, driving an overall 2.3% increase in revenue to $453.5 million. That beat expectations of $451.9 million.

CEO Sam Sato said the results were in line with expectations despite the challenging retail environment, and he added that the company made important progress in optimizing its supply chain and initiatives with the Finish Line, Macy's, and JackRabbit businesses. 

Strong sales of Adidas also helped fuel a company that had been struggling in recent quarters, as Sato said he saw "explosive growth" in its Adidas business.

Now what: Looking ahead, the company's full-year outlook also delighted investors as it sees comparable sales accelerating to 3%-5% for the year and expects EPS of $1.50-$1.56, in line with analyst estimates of $1.54.

Sporting goods retailers have hit a slump lately, with chains like Sports Authority and City Sports declaring bankruptcy and larger rival Foot Locker seeing shares fall nearly a third since last fall. Considering the overall weakness in the industry as well as the recent struggles of department stores including its retail partner Macy's, Finish Line's recovery could be tenuous, but the accelerating growth is certainly a positive sign.

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