Nike Exceeds Estimates on New Products, Market-Share Gains

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Nike Beats Estimates on New Products, Domestic Growth

Nike Inc.’s fourth-quarter profit topped analysts’ estimates after the company released new products and won market share from its athletic-gear rivals.

Net income rose 24 percent to $865 million, or 98 cents a share, from $698 million, or 78 cents, a year earlier, the Beaverton, Oregon-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts had estimated about 83 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nike, the world’s largest sporting-goods maker, has fueled growth by investing in innovation and introducing scores of new products each year. The company also has benefited from fashion trends shifting toward casual and comfort -- what’s been dubbed “athleisure.”

“The numbers were extremely impressive,” said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward D. Jones & Co. “The brand just continues to gain strength.”

Nike shares rose as much as 3.3 percent to $108.69 in late trading after the results were released. The stock had already gained 9.4 percent this year through the close of trading on Thursday.

Worldwide futures orders were up 13 percent, excluding the effects of foreign-currency exchange-rate fluctuations. Analysts estimated a 10.4 percent gain on average, according to data collected by Consensus Metrix. The measure is closely watched because investors view it as a proxy for future sales.

‘Consistent Growth’

The strength in orders was broad-based. Excluding currency effects, North America was up 13 percent, Western Europe gained 14 percent, and China advanced 22 percent. Emerging markets was a weak spot, growing just 2 percent by that measure.

Total revenue rose 4.8 percent to $7.78 billion in the period, which ended May 31. Analysts projected $7.69 billion on average. The company had forecast a gain in the mid-single-digit percentage range.

“Our consistent growth is fueled by our connection to the consumer and our ability to deliver innovation at an unprecedented pace and scale,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker said in the statement.

Nike’s 20 percent order growth in Japan was also impressive because many global brands are struggling there, Yarbrough said.

“It’s crazy just how strong this business is,” Yarbrough said. “They continue to take market share. You would think that it would slow down at some point, but it hasn’t yet.”

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