Nike: Barely Doing It

Has the swoosh lost its whoosh? On June 30, Nike announced a fourth-quarter loss of $67.7 million on a 3% drop in sales, to $2.3 billion. But investors spy a glimmer of hope: Excluding a restructuring charge, Nike earned $11.8 million, or 4 cents a share, 1 cents more than analysts' estimates, thanks to reducing an inventory glut. So Nike's stock rose 3 3/8 on July 1, to 52 1/16. Still, it faces a marathon run back to prosperity: Asia's crisis and slow U.S. demand mean real earnings growth is unlikely before next spring.