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Nike orders miss estimates as competition heats up

Published 09/27/2016, 07:09 PM
© Reuters. Logo of Nike sportswear maker at company's store at Tbilisi Mall in Tbilisi
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By Abhijith Ganapavaram

(Reuters) - Nike Inc's (N:NKE) future orders missed analysts' estimates for the third time in a row, as the world's largest footwear maker struggles with increasing competition from Under Armour Inc (N:UA) and a resurgent Adidas (DE:ADSGn) in North America.

Shares of the company, which reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, fell 4.4 percent to $52.90 in after-market trading on Tuesday.

The stock is the worst performer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year, down about 11 percent to Tuesday's close.

Nike and its Jordan brand still command the lion's share of the U.S. footwear market, but rivals Adidas and Under Armour are chipping away at the company's decades-long dominant position.

The company has lost basketball sales to Under Armour since the latter poached Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry in 2013. It is also suffering from a revival at Adidas, which has scored mostly with fashion shoes promoted by celebrities such as Kanye West, who moved from Nike to Adidas the same year.

"Adidas is red-hot right now and retailers can't get enough of it," Edward Jones Analyst Brian Yarbrough told Reuters adding that some U.S. retailers were giving more shelf space to Nike's competition.

Sales of Adidas' classic shoes nearly quadrupled in August, compared with a 33 percent rise in Nike's similar line, according to market research firm NPD.

Under Armour has also been pushing deeper into department stores. The second-biggest U.S. sportswear maker said it would sell its products at U.S. department store operator Kohl's Corp (N:KSS) from 2017.

FUTURE ORDERS

Nike said on a conference call that it would now issue a forecast for its future orders, a key indicator of demand, during the earnings call, moving away from a years-long tradition of announcing it in the earnings release.

The move to stop issuing future orders seems "very suspect" at a time when North America and other markets have slowed down, Yarbrough said.

The company said global orders from September 2016 through January 2017 were up 7 percent on a constant-currency basis, missing the 8 percent increase analysts' had expected.

The forecast - keenly watched by investors - was the lowest in five quarters.

Net income rose 5.9 percent to $1.25 billion, or 73 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Aug. 31.

Revenue rose 7.7 percent to $9.06 billion, while inventories jumped 11 percent to $4.9 billion.

© Reuters. Logo of Nike sportswear maker at company's store at Tbilisi Mall in Tbilisi

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a profit of 56 cents per share and revenue of $8.87 billion.

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