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Nike pulls back in North America in order to grow
04-04-2018, 04:23 PM
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Nike pulls back in North America in order to grow
Nike Inc.’s effort to solve its problem in North America includes pulling back on merchandise while ramping up innovation, and analysts support the strategy.

The athletic-gear giant reported a 6% third-quarter revenue decline in North America, down to $3.57 billion from $3.78 billion.

Still, Nike womens free flyknit sale NKE, +1.53% Chief Executive Mark Parker said in a release statement that the company is seeing a “significant reversal” in North America through a variety of initiatives.

“This quarter, we deliberately tightened distribution in the North America marketplace while also driving extraordinary heat with the customer,” Parker said on the earnings call, according to a FactSet transcript, highlighting the launch of the Russell Westbrook shoe along with a limited-edition Jordan sneaker that singer Justin Timberlake wore during his Super Bowl halftime performance.

Nike presto womens black and white has returned to a pull market in North America,” said Andrew Campion, Nike chief financial officer.

Analysts are bullish about Nike’s moves, even if the results will come further the road.

“North American progress reflects improving Nike/Jordan brand health, cleaner channel inventories/distribution, accelerating innovation, and sharpening digital prowess (Nike.com was up double digits),” wrote Susquehanna Financial Group analysts led by Sam Poser.

Still, Susquehanna maintains its neutral stock rating because the turnaround won’t be complete until the first quarter of 2019. It raised its price target to $62 from $60.

“Importantly, North American digital sales accelerated throughout the quarter (up double digits) and sales are expected to be flat in the fourth quarter of 2018 and return to growth in the first half of 2019,” wrote Wedbush analysts led by Christopher Svezia. “We expect growth to accelerate further as volumes of key product improve (Epic React, Vapor Max) and new platforms (Odyssey React and Hyper Adapt) come to market.”

Wedbush analysts also think Nike is insulated from the tariff threat, with only about 10% of sales and cost of goods impacted, according to its estimates.

“The company has reduced its exposure to China over the last several years toward Vietnam and Thailand, among others,” Wedbush wrote. “Reduced Chinese sourcing, product mix, and geographic mix contribute to its lower risk.”

Wedbush rates Nike huarache black and white shares outperform with a $75 price target, up from $74.

Cowen analysts focused on the company’s digital efforts, highlighting the launch of the SNKRS app in China, which was downloaded 2 million times, the launch in Japan, which became the most downloaded iOS app, and the acquisition of Zodiac, a consumer data and analytics firm.

“In North America, Nike consumer experiences are driving growth and Nike.com accelerated to strong double-digit growth as the quarter progressed,” analysts led by John Kernan wrote. “Jordan selection was tightened to clean inventory levels and the brand is now better positioned.”

Cowen rates Nike shares market perform with a $68 price target.

Nike free run 5.0 womens sale shares closed Friday up 0.3% and are up 14.7% for the past year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.07% is up 14.3% for the last 12 months.

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