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Nike Guidance Is Here, And It's Not As Bad As We Thought

Nike Guidance Is Here, And It's Not As Bad As We Thought

Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) reported an encouraging fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report after Thursday's market close, but as is the case with the footwear and apparel company, management only offers guidance during its post earnings conference call. But once management issued its full year guidance for fiscal 2018, it was deemed to be "good enough" by Wells Fargo's Tom Nikic who maintains a Market Perform rating on Nike's stock with a price target boosted from $54.50 to $56.

Q4 In Review

Nikic highlighted six aspects of Nike's earnings report that were positive, including:

    1. Initial reaction to VaporMax adds credibility moving forward.
    2. Acceleration of international segments in the quarter.
    3. Improvement in Futures from three months ago.
    4. Stabilization in the non-Jordan basketball category after months of declines.
    5. Inventories grew at the slowest rate in nearly four years.
    6. Confidence in management's recent "trip-double" plan was reaffirmed.


But the analyst also noted six concerning aspects of the quarter:

    1. An EPS beat accompanied with gross profit growth deceleration.
    2. Worsening of North American Futures.
    3. Sales need to accelerate meaningfully to achieve guidance.
    4. Every product category decelerated last year (except the "Other" category).
    5. The online channel is showing signs of materially decelerating.
    6. Gross margins on a constant-FX basis declined 50 basis points or more every quarter in fiscal 2017.

2018 Guidance

Heading into Thursday's earnings report, Nike's fiscal 2018 guidance was one of the primary sources of "investor trepidation," Nikic continued. But once the company guided its sales growth to be a mid-to-high single digit it was deemed to be "less bad versus expectations," although it does seem to be weighted to the back half of the fiscal year.

A gross margin guidance of down as much as 50 basis points is also "not as bad as feared" when considering a significant drag as foreign exchange hedges roll over. But excluding foreign exchange rates the company would see a gain of 30–50 basis points, which is more than its long-term plan.

Bottom line, the bull versus bear debate surrounding Nike's stock will continue and shares could be range-bound for the time being.

At time of publication, Nike was up 8.28 percent at $57.57.

Related Links:

Nike Earnings Preview: What Might Be Expected For Fiscal Q4?

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Latest Ratings for NKE

Dec 2019MaintainsOutperform
Dec 2019ReiteratesNeutral
Dec 2019UpgradesNeutralBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for NKE
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