Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) shares plunged initially after the company issued mixed earnings results, but the stock quickly recovered on Wednesday as analysts moved quickly to stop the bleeding. The athletic equipment and apparel manufacturer received numerous price target cuts, but despite that, analysts are bullish on its future. Nike typically does well during and around major sporting events such as the Olympics.
Nike’s results solid
Hilliard Lyons analyst Jeffrey Thomison said in a report dated June 29 that he sees Nike’s fourth fiscal quarter a being “solid.” The company’s revenues climbed 6% year over year to $8.2 billion, which was about in line with consensus. Currency headwinds continued to weigh as revenues climbed 9% on a currency-neutral basis. Diluted earnings were flat year over year at 49 cents per share, which was slightly ahead of consensus at 48 cents per share.
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Nike said worldwide orders for branded footwear and apparel scheduled for delivery between June and November climbed 6% in absolute dollars or 11% on a currency-neutral basis. Orders in North America rose 6%, which was a little weaker than Thomison’s expectation of at least a 7% increase. Greater China’s currency-neutral increase was 24%, making it the strongest region for future orders.
He continues to rate Nike at Neutral based on macro uncertainties and competition.
JPMorgan cuts price target for Nike
In their report dated June 29, JPMorgan analyst Matthew Boss and team said they trimmed their price target for Nike from $72 to $67 per share but maintained their Overweight rating on the stock. They note that management is comfortable with the company’s inventory levels. They also left their guide for “low-teens” growth in fiscal 2017 earnings per share “largely unchanged” as currency headwinds moderate and front-end spending on selling, general and administrative expenses for the Olympics kicks in.
The JPMorgan team states that Nike has set up its near term as a show-me story for the second half of 2017. However, they see an “attractive multi-year entry point” due to the “four turns of multiple compression post the 3Q print.
Jefferies cuts Nike price target
Jefferies analysts Edward Plank and Randal Konik also trimmed their price target, moving from $67 to $65 per share but maintaining their Buy rating. They said although Nike management maintained their full-year outlook, they “tempered” their first quarter outlook due to pressure on gross margins and an increase in marketing spend.
They said the near-term headwinds are “real” but will pass. Nike management acknowledged that style preferences are changing and so they are focusing more on sportswear lifestyle product innovation. They said the company has had some early success with its Air Presto and Air Force One products. Also the Add’ly running line is strong and basketball sell-throughs are improving thanks to the new KD and Kyrie shoes and continuing strength of the Jordan shoes.
Credit Suisse analysts also cut their price target for Nike, moving from $68 to $63 per share while maintaining their Outperform rating. D.A. Davidson analysts moved their price target from $76 to $66 per share and maintained their Buy rating. Buckingham Research Group moved its target from $70 to $66, while Macquarie Research reduced its target from $77.50 to $75 and Stifel Nicolaus cut its target from $73 to $68.
Buying Nike stock on weakness
Evercore ISI analyst Omar Saad and team echoed what most other analysts said in terms of Nike being a Buy on the post-earnings weakness in their June 29 report. They maintained their bullish $100 price target, however.
They believe the company’s recent problems are mostly in the past, and they were encouraged by management commentary that growth in North America will return in the first quarter and accelerate throughout the rest of the fiscal year. Gross margins are also expected to start expanding again after the first quarter.
Additionally, they were encouraged that the initial order of the KD 9 basketball shoes on June 20 “sold out completely” before this week’s earnings report. They felt that the KD8 shoes had some design flaws and looked “overly technical.”
After rallying on Wednesday, Nike shares dipped slightly in early trading on Thursday, falling as much as 0.51% to $54.85.