Nike Earnings: An Early Look


Earnings season is winding down, with most companies already having reported their quarterly results. But there are still some companies left to report, and Nike is about to release its quarterly earnings report. The key to making smart investment decisions with stocks releasing their quarter reports is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed, knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Nike has been a pioneer in athletic footwear and apparel for a long time, leading the industry since its infancy to become a massive global brand. Yet the top dog faces plenty of competition from hungry rivals aiming to displace the athletic giant. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Nike over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report on Thursday.

Stats on Nike

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$6.23 billion

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will Nike run faster this quarter?
Over the past few months, analysts have had mixed views on Nike. For the just-ended quarter, they've cut their earnings-per-share estimates by $0.03, but they've added $0.02 per share to their fiscal 2013 calls. The stock, meanwhile, has reflected more optimism, rising 11% since mid-December.

Nike has done a masterful job of building its brand up and leveraging its power to make smart partnerships with sports leagues and endorsement ambassadors. Recognizing the high value of intangibles in the industry, moves such as signing top-ranked golfer Rory McIlroy to its endorsement roster have become part and parcel of the Nike success story.

But Nike has had to react to competition. Under Armour has made a big move into the athletic shoe business, and given its past success in building a niche in the athletic apparel segment, Under Armour will pose a credible threat to Nike. A lawsuit that Under Armour recently filed against Nike for trademark infringement indicates just how much is at stake for both parties.

One area where Nike stands to gain is in technology. Its FuelBand monitoring device has the potential to become an entry point that could inspire future products from a partnership with Apple, which could eventually lead to a "smart-shoe" system or an iWatch, especially since Tim Cook serves on the Nike board.

Just last month, Nike completed the sale of its Cole Haan shoe brand to a private equity firm for $570 million. The sale emphasizes Nike's renewed focus on its core athletic business, and the cash should give it flexibility to take other steps to increase profitability.

In Nike's quarterly report, look for signs that point to which strategic direction the company is planning to go. With so many irons in the fire, the danger is in trying to do too much, but Nike's new focus should serve it well even as competition heats up.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns shares of Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple, Nike, and Under Armour. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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