FINANCE

Finish Line 4Q Profit Narrows

BY CSA STAFF

Indianapolis, Finish Line said Thursday the company earned $21.1 million in its fourth quarter, compared with profit of $28.1 million during the same period a year prior. Revenue rose to $429 million from $399.2 million.

Expenses for the quarter rose to $93.9 million from $85.1 million. The company also saw an asset impairment charge of $7.5 million compared with $2.5 million a year ago. Comp-store sales fell 5.4% during the quarter.

For the full year, the company earned $32.4 million.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Sharper Image, OfficeMax Partner

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco, Sharper Image has announced a multi-year licensing agreement with OfficeMax. The agreement with OfficeMax is the first to be announced by Sharper Image’s newly created brand licensing division.

Under the agreement, OfficeMax will offer Sharper Image branded office furniture and accessories made exclusively for OfficeMax under the Sharper Image Office brand. Products will include desks, chairs, shredders, desk sets, accessories and related items. The first product collection is currently rolling out into OfficeMax stores, with additional collections to debut throughout and beyond 2007.

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FINANCE

Wal-Mart Cautious as Fuel Prices Rise

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores CEO Lee Scott said the company is adopting a cautious stance, considering that rising fuel prices could mean this year will not be easy.

“With fuel pries going up, it feels like it’s going to be a challenging year,” he said on Tuesday during a television interview on Fox News.

“I wouldn’t say worried is the right word. But I think we’re cautious thinking through what it means. Fuel prices have an impact on our basic customer,” he added.

Wal-Mart has been struggling to revive sales at its U.S. store base, which have been hurt by lackluster shopper response to its efforts to sell trendy clothing and a disruptive store-remodeling program.

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