Nike Earnings: Can It Still Meet the Street?


Nike is scheduled to report earnings for its fiscal first quarter on Tuesday after the market closes. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period.

Overview: Nike has said it is expecting a gradual recovery. But the athletic apparel company is expected to report that its sales remained sluggish in its first quarter.

Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike, the world's largest footwear and apparel company, has managed to meet and beat expectations during the recession because it has reorganized its structure and tightly controlled inventory and costs.

But Nike's largest market is in the U.S., where shoppers are still keeping a lid on discretionary spending and specialty athletic retailers that emphasize the Nike brand are struggling.

In its second-largest market, China, Nike faces a post-Olympics slump and increased competition from local brands like Li Ning.

By The Numbers: Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters on average expect the company to earn 97 cents per share for the quarter on revenue of $4.9 billion.

Nike earned $1.03 per share on revenue of $5.43 billion in the first quarter of last year.

Analyst Take: Marie Driscoll, a retail analyst with Standard & Poor's Equity Research said she sees a few more weak quarters for Nike's orders, but a weakening U.S. dollar could help the company because it would increase the value of sales abroad.

She said the company's "global superbrand status" will help it grow after the economy recovers and reiterated a "buy" rating on Nike.

What's Ahead: Nike continues to face uncertainty stemming from the weak global economy—including tight consumer spending and fluctuations in foreign currency.

Stock Performance: Nike shares fell nearly 5 percent during the quarter and more than 13 percent during the past 52 weeks. Shares of Nike closed Friday at $58.64 near the top of its 52-week range of $38.24 to $68.