SBD/25/Finance

NIKE SAYS ITS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS WON'T MEET ESTIMATES

          Nike announced that it expects its third quarter
     earnings ending February 28 to be between $.24 to $.28 per
     share, below the First Call estimate of $.38 per share. 
     Nike added that its earnings for the full year will be below
     the previously stated range of $2.00 to $2.15 per share. 
     Nike said it is experiencing higher than anticipated order
     cancellation rates in the Asia Pacific region, while higher
     levels of close-out sales in the U.S. continue to negatively
     impact gross margins.  Nike added that it is examining its
     overall cost structure and plans to take actions, including
     realignments and reductions in its global workforce (Nike). 
          DETAILS: Nike's estimates led CNBC's "Business Center"
     and "The Edge."  CNBC's Sue Herrera reported that Morgan
     Stanley Dean Witter analysts estimate Nike "might have to
     cut up to 2,000 jobs" ("The Edge," CNBC, 2/24).  CNBC's
     Garrett Glaser: "Nike laid most of the blame for its
     earnings problems overseas in Asia.  The company says
     economic turmoil in the region has made shellshocked
     consumers there reluctant to spend money on Nike sneakers"
     (CNBC, 2/24).  CNN's Lou Dobbs said Nike "surprised Wall
     Street by saying 'I Can't'" ("Moneyline," 2/24). 
          REAX: Faye Landes, Salomon Smith Barney analyst: "I'm
     not convinced, unfortunately, that this is the last time
     that we're going to see this. ... What we're seeing now is
     serious indigestion after some explosive growth."  Landes
     added that the "underlying factors that have led to this
     announcement" are "unlikely to dissipate right away." 
     Landes: "[U]nfortunately, there are some real fashion issues
     and saturation issues which Nike is very unlikely to get
     past near-term" ("The Edge," 2/24).  In DC, Tim Smart writes
     that teens "are turning against $150" athletic shoes in
     favor of "brown hiking boots and other more mundane casual
     shoes."  Nike's inventory buildup at retail reflects "their
     less-than-exalted status," and Nike said its inventory had
     "soared" by nearly $500M to $1.4B (WASHINGTON POST, 2/25).

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