Consumer Products

What Analysts Are Saying About Nike After Earnings

Chris Lange

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) reported its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed on Tuesday. After weeks of the markets getting crushed, Nike seemingly provided a light at the end of the tunnel. With its massive exposure to China and global footprint, Nike was definitely hurt by the coronavirus, but earnings demonstrated why this company is strong. Analysts seemed to agree.

Here, 24/7 Wall St. has included some brief highlights from the earnings report, as well as what analysts were saying after the fact.

Nike posted $0.53 in earnings per share (EPS) on $10.1 billion in revenue for the quarter. Analysts expected EPS of $0.60 in and $9.84 billion in revenue for the fiscal third quarter. The same period of last year reportedly had $0.68 per share and $9.61 billion.

Overall, revenues increased 5% on a reported basis and were up 7% on a currency-neutral basis, driven by 13% currency-neutral growth in Nike Direct, with digital growth of 36% and strong growth across EMEA, APLA and North America, offset by the impact of COVID-19 on business in Greater China. Digital sales in Greater China increased more than 30%, while brick-and-mortar retail sales were affected by temporary store closures related to outbreak.

At the peak in February, roughly 75% of Nike-owned and partner doors in Greater China were closed, with others operating on reduced hours. Currently, nearly 80% of doors are open in Greater China with an even higher rate in key cities. Beginning March 16, all Nike-owned stores, outside of Greater China, Japan and Korea were closed to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Argus reiterated a Buy rating with a $115 price target. In the report, the independent research firm detailed:

Nike’s strong brand and product pipeline have enabled it to raise prices and increase sales of both apparel and footwear. We also believe that some retailers seeking to boost weak sales are turning to Nike to increase customer traffic, increasing NKE’s bargaining power as a supplier. Meanwhile, in response to changing purchasing trends, Nike is beefing up its direct-to-consumer (DTC) channel (company-owned stores and website), particularly its e-commerce business. We expect DTC sales to grow at a high-teens pace over the next two years. Over the long term, we expect Nike to continue to dominate the athletic apparel and footwear market, and note that it has a particularly strong presence in high-end footwear thanks to its marketing strength and endorsements from famous athletes. Although the industry remains fiercely competitive, we expect the company to build on its dominant position through its globally recognized brand, innovative products, economies of scale, and rapid growth in emerging markets.

Merrill Lynch reiterated a Buy rating and raised its price objective to $90 from $85. The firm also raised its fiscal 2021 EPS estimate to $2.55 from $2.20, which assumes that North America and EMEA will follow Nike’s “China playbook” and return to growth by the fiscal second half of 2020.

Here’s what a few other analysts had to say:

  • CFRA reiterated a Strong Buy rating but cut its price target to $110 from $115.
  • Morgan Stanley reiterated it as Overweight and raised its price target to $92 from $88.
  • Credit Suisse reiterated an Outperform rating and raised its price target to $92 from $85.
  • Deutsche Bank reiterated a Hold rating and raised its price target from $80 to $84.
  • UBS reiterated a Buy rating even though it cut its target price to $114 from $123.
  • Raymond James reiterated it as Outperform and lowered its target to $100 from $110.

Nike stock traded up about 8% at $85.49 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $60.00 to $105.62. The consensus price target is $92.58.