In this segment from the Motley Fool Money radio show, host Chris Hill, Million Dollar Portfolio's Jason Moser, Total Income's Ron Gross, and Motley Fool Pro and Options' Jeff Fischer discuss what Finish Line's (NASDAQ:FINL) second-quarter report told us about the company -- and it's not that good. Comps are down, revenue is down, guidance is ugly, and the brand that provides most of its sales is suffering, too. So what's next for the company?
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Sept. 22, 2017.
Chris Hill: Speaking of athletic retail, Finish Line had a bit of a comeback this week. Shares of Finish Line up 10% on Friday, after second-quarter results came in better than expected. Which leads to this question, Ron -- how low were the expectations?
Ron Gross: Step away from the stock price, because it's not indicative of anything here. This is a bad report. I do not care that the stock is up. Yes, better than expected, but things are not going well at Finish Line. Same-store sales down 4.5%, revenue down 3% overall, guidance is miserable, they're being forced to do promotions, they're using words like "challenging retail environment," which I feel like I've heard time and time and time again. This is a company that is struggling.
Now, we can blame it on Nike if we want, but that's almost a whole other discussion. Nike is struggling, and it's translating into tough times for folks like Foot Locker and Finish Line. Finish Line actually purchases 70% of their total merchandise from Nike. So if Nike fails to be innovative, Foot Locker almost by definition is going to struggle as well. This company is having a difficult time in a very difficult environment.
Hill: What do you think, if anything, turns it around for Finish Line? If you don't want to hear the CEO coming out and using phrases like "challenging retail environment," what would you like to hear?
Gross: They are rumored to be an acquisition candidate right now because the stock has been beaten down. It's down almost 50% this year. Sports Direct, a U.K. sports retailer, owns a chunk of the stock. Finish Line actually recently instituted a poison pill, a shareholder-rights agreement, to try to fend off hostile acquisition takeovers. Forces potential suitors to come to the table to discuss potential. But the only thing, I think, possibly part of the strength of the stock this week was, A, better than expectations, even though results were poor, and the potential that maybe that acquisition is going to happen.
Hill: Back in your hedge fund days, did you ever encounter a poison pill?
Gross: All the time.
Gross: Yeah, all the time.
Hill: Shareholders were afraid of Ron Gross, so they were like, "Let's get a poison pill in here?"
Gross: Yeah, or we would be activist investors against companies that had 15%, that's the typical number, poison pills. You can buy up to 14.9%.
Jeff Fischer: Did they try to put it in your drink? Or your food? [laughs]
Jason Moser: [laughs] He's the Gordon Gekko of The Motley Fool.