Finish Line to Take $44 Million Charge While Exploring Options for JackRabbit

Finish Line (FINL)  said it is exploring options for its specialty running shoe store chain JackRabbit, a process that the company expects to trigger a third quarter charge of $44 million.

Finish Line shares fell 30 cents, or 1.3%, to $22.65 Tuesday afternoon following the news.

While there's been some speculation recently about a sale of JackRabbit, which consists of 70 specialty stores across 17 states, Indianapolis-based Finish Line may have a tough time selling the business, according to a note published by Buckingham Research analyst Scott Krasik. "We are unsure that Finish Line will be able to sell JackRabbit," Krasik wrote, according to Reuters.

If the company is able to find a buyer for the property, analysts at Wedbush believe that sale could be a catalyst for the company's stock.

"Leveraging ... a profitable or divested Jack Rabbit and continued share repurchases are all factors largely not accounted for in our modeling and would only be additive," said Wedbush analysts who initiated an "outperform" rating and $25 price target on the company.

Wedbush believes that JackRabbit's operating margin will drop 10% in fiscal 2016, decline 4.5% in fiscal 2017, drop 3.5% in fiscal 2018, fall another 2% in 2019 and break even in fiscal 2020.

The sports apparel industry has been in flux in 2016 following the bankruptcy filings of The Sports Authority and Sports Chalet. Those bankruptcies resulted in liquidation sales that cut into potential revenues for sports apparel retailers like Finish Line and Dick's.

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