Fitness financials: Hibbett Sports names new president/COO, plus Finish Line

Fitness financials: Hibbett Sports names new president/COO. Finish Line conference call gleans little information.
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Fitness financials: Hibbett Sports names new president/COO. Finish Line conference call gleans little information.

Hibbett Sports names new president/COO

Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq: HIBB) has named Nissan Joseph president and the newly created position of chief operating officer, effective in early February. He replaces former president Brian N. Priddy, who left in May.

Joseph was previously president and chief executive of Hickory Brands Inc., a privately held maker of footwear and accessories.

Finish Line conference call gleans little information

During a conference call between the company and analysts, Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL) executives voiced concern about their company's plummeting stock, but did not share much insight into their plans for its $1.5 billion purchase of Genesco, which is mired in litigation, according to the Associated Press.

Also, the company reported a $15.9 million third-quarter loss, which amounts to $0.34 per share. Results included $0.12 per share in costs related to the Genesco deal.

Finish Line had agreed to buy Genesco in June and then sued to get out of the deal after the company reported a second-quarter loss and sharply lower third-quarter earnings. A judge ruled last week that Finish Line must complete the acquisition.

The investment bank financing most of the deal, UBS AG, has filed a separate federal lawsuit in New York. The bank is asking that its commitment to the deal be declared void because the combined entity would go bankrupt and default on debt payments.

Finish Line Chairman and CEO Alan Cohen told analysts that UBS is still the company's banker for the deal, but he declined to discuss whether Finish Line had a plan to find alternative funding should that change. He added that the company is focused on the litigation and planned to keep all options open, including the possibility of an appeal.

Finish Line shares sank as low as $0.60 to $1.61 in midday trading on Jan. 4 following the conference call, and closed at $1.75. In the last 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $1.61 and $14.54.

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