How Nike Alone May Be Saving Shoe Retailers

One analyst has a very bullish perspective on North American shoe companies considering the Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) product pipeline. Wedbush is targeting Caleres Inc. (NYSE: CAL) and Shoe Carnival Inc. (NASDAQ: SCVL) in its report. Overall the boutique brokerage firm believes that the merchandise itself supports upside opportunity for Nike in 2020 and its retail partners in fiscal 2019.

Considering Nike represented an estimated 27% of fiscal 2018 sales at Shoe Carnival, and Wedbush’s view on the company’s likely buys for the brand, Nike alone should provide comp support of roughly 175 basis points for this retailer.

However, after a deeper dig into the sales mix, Wedbush’s calculations reveal possible upside compared with the consensus estimates. The retailers’ own key initiatives (loyalty, marketing, and so on) also add even further support.

In terms of Nike’s merchandise hitting the channel, excitement expressed by Nike, Caleres and Shoe Carnival’s managements appears warranted, with the Air Max Axis, Motion, Oketo, Torch and more likely to receive a strong consumer response and help create upside to Nike’s fiscal 2020 and further comparable momentum for Caleres and Shoe Carnival moving forward.

According to the report:

Nike is making a strong push, or “complete offense,” into the mid-tier or core footwear channel in 2019, fast-tracking refreshed new collections of more distinct merchandise under the $100 price point, along with greater marketing resources (the channel has also been driving strong growth for adidas and Puma, while also supporting Vans). Though the company noted a refresh for BTS, the merchandise currently hitting the market is also strong, in our view, with “core” versions of popular premium styles like the Air Max 270, 90, 95, or Plus while still mastering product segmentation between price points (examples provided further in the report). Nike’s push into this segment may not only drive upside to its fiscal 2020 (management has noted its “innovation pipeline” in the core channel should “drive some great upside”) but it also represents a strategic offense against its competitors, including adidas and Under Armour.

Wedbush reiterated Outperform ratings for Nike, Caleres and Shoe Carnival with price targets of $96, $36 and $47, respectively.

Shares of Nike were last seen trading at $84.75, in a 52-week range of $64.99 to $88.59. The stock has a consensus price target of $89.85.

Shoe Carnival shares were down over 1% at $31.97. The 52-week range is $22.21 to $45.00, and the consensus price target is $44.75.

Caleres traded at $25.00 a share, in a 52-week range of $22.85 to $41.09. The consensus price target is $35.75.

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