Scottish Premier League Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell insisted that the club is "possibly in the best financial position of the club’s 125-year history -- after figures showed the club is now debt-free," according to Craig Swan of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Interim financial results for the second half of '12 "show the club made a pre-tax profit" of £14.94M ($23M), up from only £180,000 ($282,000) on the previous year, an increase of more than 8,000%. Turnover increased by 71% to just more than £50M ($78M) and Celtic "reduced net bank debt" from £7M ($11M) to just £130,000 ($203,000). Lawwell said, "Clearly we’re delighted and great credit to everyone at the club. We’re in a real stable and robust financial position, and I don’t think we have been as healthy for decades, if we ever have. Debt is virtually gone" (DAILY RECORD, 2/12).
JP Morgan Monday upgraded shares of Nike “to overweight, giving the stock a boost in a down market,” according to CNBC's Scott Wapner. Baker Ave Asset Management CEO Simon Baker said Nike has a “multiyear product line ahead of it,” $2-3B in “free cash flow” and the slowdown in China has been "corrected.” Baker also noted Nike “sees a big opportunity in women’s apparel” and has “massive growth” in e-commerce. But Shelter Harbor Capital co-Founder Brian Kelly said those positives had “already been priced in the stock." Nike is up 20% "in the last couple of months,” and the JP Morgan note "didn’t really bring out anything incrementally new." Kelly: "It was all about the fact that the management said everything was going to be great.” Simon added, “One thing that Nike has consistently done over the last 30 years, which you can’t put in a balance sheet, is innovation.” Fusion Analytics VP Josh Brown: “Whatever you think they’ve already done in China is a joke compared to what the opportunity is” (“Fast Money Halftime Report,” CNBC, 2/11).