Nike shares tumbled after bell on Thursday following the sneaker maker reporting-than-expected sales in North America during its fiscal third quarter.
Nike reported net income of $ 1
Revenue was up 7 percent during the quarter to $ 9,611 billion from $ 8,984 billion a year ago. That was about in-line with what analysts had expected. It marketed the first time in six quarters, though, that Nike didn't top expectations.
In North America, sales were up 7 percent to $ 3.81 billion, excluding currency changes. That was what growth had been expected from some people. Telsey Advisory Group analyst Cristina Fernandez was calling for North American sales up to 10 percent during the third quarter.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, sales were up 12 percent, excluding currency changes, Nike said. In China, revenue climbed 24 percent. And in Asia Pacific and Latin America, sales grew 14 percent, as Nike's business continues to grow more than in the US, which remains saturated with competition from the likes of Adidas, Under Armor and Vans.
It repurchased 9.8 million shares, worth $ 754 million, during the quarter.
It was up 1 percent at $ 5.4 billion, compared with a year ago.
Hoping to keep building momentum for its brand, Nike's focus has shifted from its wholesale partners to now selling as much as it can directly to consumers, through its own stores and website. That's evidenced by Nike's recent store openings, which include a high-tech flagship location in New York on Fifth Avenue, and a new smaller format store it's testing in Los Angeles. Nike's online business, meanwhile, has been strong as the company has innovated with new products – like the Air Max 720 and the Epic React Flyknit 2 – and exclusive launches that drive traffic to the website.
Looking for pockets of growth , Nike has said it plans to invest more in apparel and women's products in the future. For women, it is launching more items like yoga pants and sports bras in expanded sizes.
Nike is, meanwhile, expected to have benefited as rival sneaker maker Adidas' North American sales growth has decelerated. Adidas has said it will face "supply chain shortages" in 2019. "We foresee continued share erosion [at Adidas] due to Nike's superior product platform," Jefferies analyst Randal Konik said ahead of Thursday's report.
Nike was caught Up a controversy recently, when Duke University star basketball player Zion Williamson remained through his Nike sneakers during a basketball game and sprained his knee. Nike shares fail following the debacle. The company responded by sending a team of sneaker designers to Duke in North Carolina, and then to China, to make a new shoe for Williamson, who has since returned to playing basketball after having out some games with his injury.
As of Thursday's market close, Nike shares are up to 30 percent over the past 12 months. The stock has climbed almost 18 percent just this year.