Nike Drops as Brand’s Future Orders Miss Analysts’ Estimates

Nike Inc., the world’s largest sporting-goods maker, fell the most in almost nine months after future orders trailed analysts’ estimates, hurt by slowing demand in western Europe and emerging markets.

Orders for the Nike brand for delivery from December through April rose 11 percent, excluding the effects of foreign-currency exchange-rate fluctuations, the Beaverton, Oregon-based company said yesterday in a statement. Analysts estimated an 11.3 percent gain, on average, according to Consensus Metrix.

Orders are closely watched because investors view them as a proxy for future sales. While the shares dropped in reaction to yesterday’s results, they had jumped to an all-time high earlier this year as the company’s athletic wear becomes more fashionable and part of everyday wardrobes -- a trend that’s been dubbed athleisure.

“Expectations were pretty high going in” because of the run-up in the stock and how Nike has performed this year, said Rob Plaza, an analyst at Key Private Bank in Cleveland. “When you are playing that game, you can’t just meet, you’ve got to beat.”

In North America, Nike’s largest market, orders rose 13 percent, compared with an estimate of 13.1 percent. In western Europe, they also increased 13 percent, trailing an estimate of 15 percent. Orders in emerging markets advanced 1 percent while the estimate was 7 percent.

Shares Slide

The shares fell 2.3 percent to $94.84 at the close in New York. Earlier, they dropped as much as 4.4 percent for the biggest intraday decline since March 21.

Shares of retailers that sell Nike products also fell. Foot Locker Inc. slid 7 percent to $53.86. Finish Line Inc., which reported an unexpected third-quarter loss today, plunged 19 percent to $23.35.

Net income in the quarter through Nov. 30 rose 23 percent to $655 million, or 74 cents a share, from $534 million, or 59 cents, a year earlier, the company said. The average of 27 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 70 cents.

Revenue jumped 15 percent to $7.4 billion, beating analysts’ projections for $7.15 billion.

Adidas AG, the world’s second-largest sporting-goods maker, posted sales and profit for the quarter through October that topped analysts estimates. Income fell 11 percent while revenue rose 6.2 percent. These results came after the company cut its annual profit forecast in August on weak demand for golf gear. Adidas stock had sunk 39 percent this year through yesterday.

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