WASHINGTON COUNTY (dpa-AFX) - Nike Inc. (NKE), the world's largest athletic shoes and apparel maker, Tuesday said its first-quarter profit rose 6 percent from a year ago, driven largely by higher revenues. Shares of the company slipped over 6 percent in the after-hours trading, hurt by weak futures orders.
Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike's first-quarter profit rose to $1.25 billion or $0.73 per share from $1.18 billion or $0.67 per share last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.56 per share for the quarter.
Revenues for the quarter rose 8 percent to $9.06 billion from $8.41 billion last year. Revenues were up 10 percent on a currency neutral basis. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $8.87 billion for the quarter.
Gross margin declined to 45.5 percent from 47.5 percent last year, as higher average selling prices were offset by several temporary items including foreign exchange, a shift of expenses from Operating Overhead to Cost of Goods Sold, a higher off-price mix and the impact of exiting the Golf equipment business.
Nike brand North America revenues were up 6 percent, while Western Europe rose 7 percent and Central and Eastern Europe gained 10 percent. Greater China jumped 15 percent and Japan revenue surged 37 percent. Revenues from emerging markets declined 2 percent.
Worldwide futures orders for NIKE Brand athletic footwear and apparel improved 5 percent to $12.3 billion. On a currency-neutral basis, future orders were up 7 percent, but below 8 percent increase expected by analysts. Futures orders are closely watched by investors as a benchmark for demand for Nike products.
NKE closed Tuesday's trading at $55.34, up $0.94 or 1.73%, on the NYSE. The stock, however, dropped $2.49 or 4.50% in the after-hours trade.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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