Long-term investors: Now is the time to buy a 'captain of industry' like Nike, HSBC says

The Nike Inc. logo is displayed at the entrance to the company's store in the East Nanjing Road shopping area of Shanghai, China.
Tomohiro Ohsumi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

HSBC on Monday upgraded Nike to buy from hold, advising clients to pick up shares of a world-class company trading at a discount.

"While we have been cautious for quite a while on the stock as we saw too much enthusiasm and were even scolded by many investors when we downgraded our rating to Hold 18 months ago, sentiment has turned in a very quick manner recently with caution on Nike becoming the latest fashion," equity analyst Erwan Rambourg wrote in a note to clients.

The earlier downbeat sentiment, however, has positioned the company to easily exceed consensus' earnings estimates, said Rambourg, explaining that those investors with a long-term view will likely be rewarded.