Nike Takes Aim at All-Time High After Earnings

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Nike Inc.) reported fiscal first quarter 2016 earnings after markets closed Thursday. The athletic gear company reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.34 on revenue of $8.4 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.09 on revenue of $7.98 billion. First-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.19 and $8.22 billion in revenue.

Nike did not offer guidance in its press release, but did say that orders for delivery from September 2015 through January 2016 are up 9% over a the same period a year ago. On a constant currency basis orders are up 17%, above the figure analysts expected. The consensus second fiscal quarter estimates call for EPS of $0.88 on revenues of $7.69 billion. For the 2016 fiscal year analysts expect EPS of $4.20 on revenues of $32.49 billion.

Gross margins rose to 47.5%, up 0.9% year-over-year for the quarter. Nike attributed the gains to higher average selling prices and continued growth in the higher margin direct to consumer business.

Quarterly net income rose 23% year-over-year to $1.2 billion. Nike said that the 26% increase in diluted EPS reflects strong revenue growth and gross margin expansion, selling and administrative expense leverage, a lower tax rate, and a decrease in the weighted average diluted shares outstanding.. The company repurchased 5.5 million shares for approximately $588 million in the first fiscal quarter. As of the end of the first fiscal quarter of 2016, a total of 86.4 million shares had been repurchased for approximately $6.5 billion from a total 4-year program of $8 billion, at an average cost of $75.70 per share. The buyback program was approved in 2012.

Nike’s shares are up more than 28% over the past 12 months, while year-to-date the stock has added about 19.4%.

Shares are getting a solid boost in after-hours trading today, trading up nearly 6% at $121.51, which would be a new 52-week high if it holds through Friday’s market open. The current 52-week range is $79.27 to $117.72. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $122.84 before today’s results were announced.

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