Is Nike signaling China's economy is OK?

A Nike logo in Beijing, China
TPG | Getty Images
A Nike logo in Beijing, China

Nike shares surged as much as 9 percent on Friday as the company handily beat earnings estimates and stunned analysts with accelerating growth in China.

"Most surprising to us was what appears to be very strong demand out of China, despite broader macro concerns," wrote Piper Jaffray's Erinn Murphy in a note to clients Friday morning.

China sales rose by 30 percent year over year in Nike's first quarter ending in August, up from 18 percent growth in the previous quarter. The closely watched futures orders growth for the Asian country, a key demand metric, was up an impressive 22 percent year over year.

"While we are very mindful of the macroeconomic volatility in China, our brand has never been stronger and our marketplace has never been more healthy," said Andrew Champion, Nike's chief financial officer, on the earnings conference call.

But this begs the question, is this just a Nike story or do these great numbers indicate China, especially its consumer, is not as bad off as feared?

Here is what the experts and analysts said...


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