Nike shares gain 8% on big EPS upside; Stock seen as an 'undervalued outperfomer'

September 28, 2023 4:58 PM EDT
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Price: $115.53 -0.5%

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(Updated - September 29, 2023 6:22 AM EDT) -- Nike reported much better than expected fiscal first-quarter earnings that overshadowed a miss on revenue, pressured by weakness in North America and an economic slowdown in its key China market.

Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) rose 8% in pre-market Friday trade following the report.

Nike reported EPS of $0.94 on revenue of $12.94 billion. Analysts polled by anticipated EPS of $0.75 on revenue of $13.02B.

Nike brand digital sales increased 2% but growth in EMEA, Greater China and APLA was partially offset by a decline in North America.

Sales in North America fell 2%, while in China, a key market for the company, sales rose 5% to $1.74B, though was short of StreetAccount estimates for $1.84 billion.

Gross margin decreased 10 basis points to 44.2%, pressured by "higher product costs and unfavorable changes in net foreign currency exchange rates, largely offset by strategic pricing action," the company said. Inventory levels decreased by 10% year-over-year.

The company maintained its FY24 guidance.

Bernstein analyst Aneesha Sherman said Nike delivered "a nice beat."

Nike used "the ~20c EPS beat to de-risk Q2 and cushion H2 - the best possible outcome we could have expected from this print. The combination of decelerating macro and debates on DTC and Running will keep an overhang over the stock ST - but we remain bullish on the stock LT as an undervalued outperformer, with EPS growth forecasts outperforming peers and valuation at a 5-yr low," Sherman wrote in a note.

BofA analyst Lorraine Hutchinson continues to see "a balanced risk/reward as an improving gross margin trajectory is offset by a challenging sales environment (particularly in wholesale)."

Additional reporting by Senad Karaahmetovic

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