FINANCE

Metro to buy back up to 450,000 shares

BY Dan Berthiaume

Montreal – Metro Inc. intends to purchase up to 450,000 shares of its stock from in a private transaction with an “arm’s-length” third-party seller on or before Sept. 9, 2015. The price will be privately negotiated and a t a discount from the prevailing market price.

These purchases will form part of Metro's 17.1 million share repurchase program announced in September 2010 and renewed in September 2014.

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FINANCE

Finish Line races ahead

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis – The Finish Line Inc. finished ahead of Wall Street expectations for profit and revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Net income rose 29% to $13.73 million from $10.65 million in the prior year period.

A higher gross profit, as well as significantly lower impairment and store closing charges, drove the increase in net income. Net sales grew 9% to $443.39 million from $406.53 million. Same-store sales at the Finish Line banner increased 5.5%.

“Fiscal 2016 is off to a solid start,” said Glenn Lyon, chairman and CEO of Finish Line. “We’re delivering an enhanced customer experience with our commitment to offering latest and greatest merchandise assortments and providing world class service. We will continue to drive consistent growth and increased profitability across each of our divisions with focus on our customer-centric operating model. We are confident these strategies will translate into greater value for our shareholders over the long-term.”

During the full fiscal year, Finish Line expects same-store sales to be up in the low-single to mid-single digit range and earnings per share to increase in the low-single to mid-single digit range.

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FINANCE

NRF: July 4 spending looks bright

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – Americans are feeling patriotic as July 4 approaches and putting their wallets where their feelings are. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) 2015 Independence Day Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, more than 156 million consumers, or 64% of those celebrating, are planning to take part in the July 4 holiday by attending a cookout, picnic or barbecue, spending an average of $71.23 per household, up 4% from $68.16 in 2014.

Total spending on food items for the holiday is estimated to reach $6.6 billion.

More than 48 million consumers (23%) will shop for holiday merchandise such as decorations and apparel.

When asked about the impact gas prices will have on their spending, nearly eight-in-10 (78%) consumers say that the price of gas will not impact their spending for the holiday weekend, up from 70% who said so in 2014.

“The busiest half of the year for retailers is about to begin, and with economic conditions swaying in consumers’ favor more so this year than last, many seem eager to take advantage of retailers’ promotions,” said NRF president and CEO Mathew Shay.

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