SBD/19/Finance

NIKE'S THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS DOWN 70%; MORE CUTS EXPECTED

          Nike yesterday reported revenues and earnings for the
     company's third quarter ended February 28, 1998.  Third
     quarter net income totaled $73.1M or $0.25 per share
     compared to $237.1M, or $0.80 per share from the same period
     one year earlier.  Third quarter revenues were $2.22B, down
     8% from $2.42B last year.  Nike also reported that its
     fourth quarter '98 earnings will be reduced by an estimated
     restructuring charge of between $125-$175M.  Included in the
     charge will be costs associated with the anticipated
     reduction in the company's global workforce of approximately
     1,600 positions, or 7% of the workforce.  Nike reported that
     U.S. footwear revenues declined 18% to $800.4M, compared to
     $980.4M last year.   Nike Chair Phil Knight: "The actions we
     announce ... as difficult as they are to undertake as they
     impact our human assets -- will result in a leaner and more
     competitive Nike as we move into fiscal 1999."  Nike said
     that measures taken, combined with efforts to maintain an
     efficient cost structure in the U.S. and Asia Pacific, are
     expected to result in projected reduced spending in excess
     of $100M in '99.  Gross margins for this year, however, will
     be negatively impacted by approximately $100M (Nike).
          HOW IT'S PLAYING: CNBC's Felicia Taylor called the
     earnings report "right on line with street estimates," with
     earnings down nearly 70%.  Nike stock gained 1 3/4 per share
     on Wednesday, closing at 44 1/8 ("The Edge," CNBC, 3/18). 
     In N.Y., David Bank reports that Nike attributed the U.S.
     "shortfalls to an intense price war, as sneaker makers tried
     to move inventory off the shelves."  Nike said sales also
     fell in Asia, with the "biggest trouble spot" being South
     Korea where sales fell 52% (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/19). In
     the lead story of the N.Y. TIMES' "business section," Sharon
     King writes under the sub-head, "In Footwear Wars, Nike
     Lags, Adidas and Other Surge."  King: "While outside factors
     conspired against Nike, management made its own missteps: a
     surge in inventory, an increase in prices, a lackluster ad
     campaign, a failure to hit upon a new big idea."  King adds
     that recently, Nike "seems to have become too big, too
     comfortable and too establishment for the young, energetic
     consumer" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/19).  The AP's William McCall said
     that Nike "has become viewed by many shoe-buying teens as a
     synonym for corporate America, and their views are beginning
     to show up on the bottom line" (AP/Mult., 3/19).
          
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