SBD/June 28, 2011/Finance

Nike's Q4 Earnings Jump 14% As Sales Surge In North America, China

Nike's Q4 earnings "rose 14% on a strong gain in sales," according to Maxwell Murphy of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Nike said that sales "surged in its two biggest regions, North America and China, as well as emerging markets." In constant currencies, revenue grew 21% in North America, 16% in China and 19% in emerging markets, while Nike's Japanese sales fell 26%. For the quarter ended May 31, Nike posted a profit of $594M, or $1.24 a share, up from $522M, or $1.06 a share, a year earlier. Murphy notes "one blight on the results was gross margin, or profit after deducting the cost of products, which fell to 44.3% from 47.4% largely because of higher costs." Nike shares were up 4.4% to $85.18 in afterhours trading yesterday. The "better-than-expected report Monday indicated Nike is back on track after stumbling in its fiscal third quarter," when it "fell short of analysts' expectations" for the first time in five years (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/28). The AP reported Nike is "relying on strength in the brand to propel it forward." The company "plans to expand its price increases to a wide array of products starting this spring." Nike said that "orders for products to be delivered between June and November are up 15 percent compared with the same period last year" (AP, 6/27). CNBC’s Darren Rovell reported live from the company’s HQs in Beaverton, Oregon, and noted, “The mood is pretty happy around here at Nike headquarters. Obviously, the Street … liking what they saw yesterday" (“Squawk on the Street,” CNBC, 6/28). At presstime, shares of Nike were trading at $87.13, up 6.75% from yesterday's close of $81.62 (THE DAILY).
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