Skip to Content

Weak growth in orders puts Nike’s shares on their heels

Clothes are displayed in the Nike store in Santa MonicaClothes are displayed in the Nike store in Santa Monica
Clothes are displayed in the Nike store in Santa Monica, California.Photograph by Lucy Nicholson — Reuters

Shares of Nike (NKE) slid over 3% in after-hours trading Thursday after the athletic clothing company reported its latest quarterly earnings.

Here’s some key information from the report.

What you need to know: Nike reported $7.38 billion in revenue, up 15% from $6.43 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Sales in all products increased, except for golf. “Our strong second quarter results once again demonstrate Nike is a growth company,” CEO Mark Parker said in a statement. Profits rose 23% to $655 million, or 74 cents, in the quarter ending Nov. 30.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 70 cents per share, on revenue of $7.15 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In a conference call with investors, Nike highlighted its basketball business including the LeBron 12 shoes that went on sale earlier in the year and strength in sales related to the World Cup. It also bragged about growth in its women’s merchandise business, which included the opening of women’s-only stores in Newport Beach, Calif., and Shanghai during the quarter. The company also emphasized the potential for greater sales in China, where it plans to expand its business.

The big numbers: Nike’s future orders rose at their slowest pace in four quarters, indicating weakening demand for the sportswear maker’s products in emerging markets and in Western Europe.

In Western Europe, a major growth market for Nike, future orders rose 13%, lower than the 15% gain expected by research firm Consensus Metrix. In emerging markets — including Brazil, Mexico and the Asia-Pacific region other than Japan — Nike missed also analysts’ expectations, but to a greater degree: The company reported orders growth of just 1%, while analysts expected a far bigger 7% gain.

What you might have missed: Nike lost its CIO Anthony Watson earlier this year. The 38-year-old was only at the company for 10 months, but according to a source close to the situation his departure may have been due to the social scene in Portland. Watson (originally from London) is said to have experienced a “culture shock” in Oregon, according to a recent Fortune story.

—Reuters contributed to this story.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include information about orders growth in emerging markets.