Nike gets Wall Street backing despite FIFA probe

Nike might be the biggest brand caught up in the corruption scandal currently enveloping world soccer, but analysts predict only a limited impact for the sportswear brand.

Swiss police on Wednesday detained high-ranking officials from soccer governing body FIFA as part of a U.S. investigation into corruption.

But a 161-page document released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) doesn't just have far-reaching implications for FIFA – it also claims that a multinational sportswear company headquartered in the U.S. was involved in "bribes and kickbacks" used to sign a sponsorship deal with the Brazilian national soccer federation in 1996.

Nike, however, insisted to CNBC in an emailed statement that the indictment did not allege that Nike had engaged in criminal conduct.

"There is no allegation in the charging documents that any Nike employee was aware of or knowingly participated in any bribery or kickback scheme," a spokesperson said.

'Great company'

Marcelo of Brazil reacts after allowing a goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between Brazil and Germany at Estadio Mineirao on July 8, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Getty Images

Wall Street analysts also appeared unphased when contacted by CNBC. John Staszak, who follows Nike as a senior analyst at Argus Research, told CNBC via email that he didn't believe there were any implications for Nike.

"Great company. Great growth stock," he said.

Read MoreWhy the US is leading the charge against FIFA

Macquarie Research analyst, Laurent Vasilescu, agreed, telling CNBC via telephone that the company had seen impressive growth in sales of its soccer apparel over the last twenty years.

The DOJ indictment doesn't name Nike, referring just to "sportswear company A", but Nike's own website states that it signed an apparel licensing deal with Brazil's soccer team that year.

The indictment highlights that the company made payments to a sports marketing firm, and although the DOJ does not suggest that these payments were illegal, it claims that the marketing firm then used the money as bribes for FIFA officials.

Shares of Nike edged lower on Wednesday after the news broke, but finished the session lower by only 0.6 percent. On Thursday, the stock closed flat and has risen 6.4 percent year-to-date.

Joshua Mahony, a market analyst at brokerage IG Group, was also upbeat on the company over the longer term.

"There is clearly an impact to current proceedings for investor mindset and I expect it to continue for the time being," he said in a note released on Friday. "However, a look at the long-term picture portrays a company which has managed to weather trying times, each time growing the share price further."

FIFA bribery charges
FIFA bribery charges