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Nike quarterly earnings top expectations but North American sales growth falls short

Published
today Mar 22, 2019
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American sports and footwear giant Nike, Inc. reported net income of $1.1 billion for the third quarter ended February 28, 2019, on Thursday, beating out Wall Street estimates with earnings per share (EPS) of $0.68, three cents above expectations according to data compiled by Refinitiv and cited by CNBC.


Nike's earnings for the third quarter totaled $1.1 billion - Instagram: @nikewomen

 
Nike’s Q3 earnings also constituted a significant improvement compared to the prior-year period, when the company posted a net loss of $921 million, or $0.57 per share.
 
The group’s total quarterly revenues increased 7% (11% in constant currencies) to $9.6 billion, compared to $9.0 billion in Q3 2018.

The company’s brands put in a mixed performance, with its flagship Nike brand achieving revenues of $9.1 billion, up 12% in constant currencies from the same period in the previous year. Improvements were seen across the brand’s wholesale and Nike Direct channels, with double-digit growth experienced in both footwear and apparel.
 
Revenues at Converse, on the other hand, slipped 2% to $463 million, as double-digit growth in Asia and the brand’s digital channel was more than offset by declines in the US and Europe.
 
It was overall North American revenues, however, which proved to be the biggest disappointment for some analysts. Sales in the region increased 7% across Nike’s brand portfolio, coming in under Telsey Advisory Group’s expected growth of 10%. News of the disappointing performance sent Nike’s share falling more than 4% after the closing bell on Thursday.
 
Expectations for the company’s sales in North America had been high for the quarter, following rival Adidas’ announcement that it was experiencing supply chain issues and slowing growth in the market.
 
Elsewhere, excluding currency changes, sales were up 12% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 14% in Asia Pacific and Latin America, with particularly strong growth of 24% seen in China.
 
“The Consumer Direct Offense is delivering broad-based growth across all four of our geographies, led by continued momentum in China,” said Nike EVP and CFO Andy Campion in a release. “We will continue investing in key capabilities to drive Nike’s digital transformation and fuel strong profitable growth into next fiscal year and beyond.”
 
In an earnings call following the publication of Nike’s results, CEO Mark Parker further pointed out that the company’s digital sales increased an impressive 36% over the course of the quarter, as its investments in mobile apps and customization services continue to pay off. 

Year to date, Nike’s revenues were up 9% to $28.9 billion, compared to $26.6 billion in the prior-year period. Net income totaled $3.0 billion, up from $796 million.
 
Looking to the fourth quarter, the company expects to see revenue increase in the low single-digit range.

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