Nike tops revenue, profit estimates on strong global sales

Nike Inc's quarterly revenue and profit beat analysts' estimates on Thursday, helped by robust demand in its international markets and initiatives such as selling directly to customers.


Nike's profits beat analysts' estimates in Q3 - Nike

Shares of the Dow component rose nearly 2 percent in extended trade. They had closed down 3 percent at $64.42 in regular trading, primarily after reports investor William Ackman's Pershing Square had exited the company with a profit of about $100 million (£70.8 million).

Sales jumped 24.3 percent in China in the third quarter ended Feb. 28, while they rose 19.4 percent in Europe.

The strong show in international markets helped offset a 6 percent drop in sales in North America, where Nike is battling rival Adidas. Revenue in the region has declined for three straight quarters, including a 6 percent drop in the latest quarter.

"As we close Q3, we now see a significant reversal of trend in North America," CEO Mark Parker said in a statement.

Discussing future strategy and innovations, such as teaming up with Amazon and launching an improved Nike Air range, Parker said on a post-earnings call that he expected to grow the business by "several billion dollars over the next few years."

"The greater scale of these platforms will create greater impact on our business into Q4 and beyond."

However, for the recently ended quarter, the company reported a net loss of $921 million, or 57 cents per share, compared with a profit of $1.14 billion, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company recorded a one-time charge of $2 billion in the reported quarter related to the recently enacted U.S. tax law.

Excluding the charge, the company earned 68 cents per share.

Revenue rose 6.5 percent to $8.98 billion.

Analysts on average had expected adjusted earnings of 53 cents per share and revenue of $8.85 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. 

The results come on the tail end of tumultuous week for Nike as the brand's two top executives left the company, as the company reviewed misconduct. Nike brand president Trevor Edwards, has resigned, to be chased by Jayme Edwards, vice-president of global categories, who also left he company.

“There has been conduct inconsistent with Nike’s principles and we are taking the appropriate actions," said a spokesperson at the time.

Nike did not address the review in its earnings release.  

Early Thursday, it was also learned that investor William Ackman had sold his minor stake in the Portland, Oregon-based company. 

The billionaire investor’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management earned roughly $100 million in profit when it cashed out of its 0.71 percent stake in the sportswear company recently, a person familiar with the move said on Thursday.

Two months ago, the activist investor told clients that Pershing Square had taken a rare passive stake in Nike at the end of 2017, when the stock was trading at around $53 a share and that the bet had already earned them a roughly 30 percent gain.

Nike did not comment on the stake sale in its earnings release.

Additional reporting by Benjamin Fitzgerald

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