By  on March 30, 2009

Finish Line Inc.’s fourth-quarter losses were both less than expected and an improvement over the firm’s deficit in the year-ago quarter.

The Indianapolis-based athletic goods retailer narrowed its net loss to $1.4 million, or 3 cents a diluted share, in the period ended Feb. 28, from $39.2 million, or 83 cents a share, a year earlier, when costs from a failed merger with Nashville-based Genesco Inc. weighed down results. Excluding impairment and merger-related charges and other items, income from continuing operations was $19.6 million, or 36 cents a share, 4 cents ahead of the analyst consensus estimate carried by Yahoo Finance but below the 45 cents reported in the prior-year quarter. Revenues slid 4.9 percent to $364.1 million from $382.8 million and sales declined 3.9 percent on a same-store basis.

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