Piper Jaffray Sets Low Expectations for Nike Inc (NKE) Ahead of 2Q Print

As Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) prepares to deliver its second-quarter earnings on December 20th, Piper Jaffray analyst Erinn Murphy is wary of foreign exchange and rising global market pressure heading into the second half of the year. As such, the analyst remains sidelined on the athletic retailer giant, reiterating a Neutral rating on shares of NKE while pulling back on the price target from $53 to $52, which represents a slight 1% upside from current levels.

In light of these assumptions, the analyst has cut her EPS projection for the financial year of 2017 from $2.30 to $2.26, under the Street’s expectations of $2.36. For second-quarter sales growth, the analyst calls for growth of 4.5% year-over-year and EPS of $0.44, compared to the Street’s estimates of 5.4% year-over-year and EPS of $0.43. Meanwhile, the analyst anticipates North America will see “minimal” levels of growth, but conversely, Greater China will likely be the most consequential growth driver for the giant.

Murphy notes, “NIKE futures were up 7% CC in Q1, representing the fourth consecutive quarter of sequential declines; a trend we would expect to continue until competitive dynamics balance out and accelerated innovation occurs at Nike. In Q1, recall futures in NA were up 1%. When we met with the company at HQ in Nov, mgmt. alluded to a dynamic where NA revenue could outpace that of futures.”

“During Q2, we saw a higher level of promotional activity Y/Y domestically for Nike–both at outlet & across full-price channels with a greater portion of items on 20-25% off. Further, our updated Instagram analysis […] continues to show decelerating share for Nike in lieu of adidas. This dynamic we believe will likely be reflected in Nike’s futures which will be discussed on the earnings call. While we believe in the brand long term, rising competition has changed the near-term P&L dynamics–both from a sales & a gross margin perspective,” Murphy concludes.

As usual, we recommend taking an analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, Erinn Murphy is ranked #4,150 out of 4,279 analysts. Murphy has a 34% success rate and loses 8.3% in her annual returns. When suggesting NKE, Murphy forfeits 2.6% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit NKE as a Buy. Out of 28 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 17 are bullish on Nike stock, 10 remain sidelined, and 1 is bearish on the stock. With a return potential of nearly 21%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $61.91.

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