Nike earnings leap past forecasts; shares soar

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New Dow component Nike on Thursday reported earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts, helped by lower costs for raw materials and higher futures orders in China, excluding currency.

Nike closed above $70 for the first time ever on Thursday and was the best performer on the Dow. Shares closed at $70.34 a share on the New York Stock Exchange, and jumped higher after the earnings beat. What is Nike stock doing now? (Click here to get the latest quote.)

Operating earnings rose to 86 cents a share in the fiscal first quarter from 64 cents a share a year earlier.

Revenue ticked higher to $6.97 billion from $6.47 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the athletic footwear and apparel maker to report earnings excluding items of 78 cents a share on $6.97 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The company has been dealing with Europe's fluctuating economy and a slowdown in growth in China. It's been working to reduce its inventory in China and reworking its offerings there to adapt to the changing tastes of Chinese consumers.

Meanwhile, it has been enjoying strong demand in North America, where it has been selling off less profitable brands like Umbro to focus on core brands like Nike.

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