Nike Credits Kaepernick Campaign, Keeps Rank as the Dow’s Top-Performing Stock

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For the third consecutive week, Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) is the best-performing Dow Jones industrials stock for the year to date. The company’s shares lost about 1% last week but still managed to post a year-to-date share price gain of 35.4%.

The second-best performer among the Dow index equities so far this year is Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), which is up 33.7%. That is followed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), up 33.4%, then Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), up 31.6%, and Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), up 27.0%. Of the 30 Dow stocks, 19 have managed to post a gain to date in 2018.

The blue-chip index dropped 285.19 points last week to close at 26,458.31, down about 1.1% compared to the previous Friday’s close. At the end of the third quarter, the Dow is up 9.4%, better than the S&P 500 (up 7.4%) and the Nasdaq Composite (up 7.2%). For the year to date, the index is up 6.6%, trailing both the S&P 500 (up 8.1%) and the Nasdaq Composite (up 14.8%).

The company reported quarterly results on Tuesday that sent the shares tumbling by 1.3%. The athletic gear maker beat earnings and revenue estimates and pointed to the Just Do It campaign featuring NFL player Colin Kaepernick, tennis star Serena Williams, and skateboarder Lacey Baker with driving an uptick in traffic and brand engagement.

Following a share price dip when the Kaepernick ad first appeared, the company reported a jump of 31% in online sales for the Labor Day weekend. But the sharp drop following last week’s earnings release has been attributed to conservative guidance that disappointed many analysts. Some also suggested that the share price increase has run its course.

Nike shares closed Friday at $84.72, up about 0.2% for the day, in a 52-week range of $50.35 to $86.04. The consensus price target is $87.53 (up almost $2 week over week), and Nike’s forward price-to-earnings ratio is 26.98.

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