Nike (NKE) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nike (NYSE:NKE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday. They currently have $73.00 price target on the footwear maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “NIKE has surpassed the sector in the past three months driven by strength in international business and the global NIKE Direct business. Also, NIKE has been focused on its Consumer Direct Offense plan. Driven by its Triple Double strategy, this restructuring plan focuses on using digital methods for rapid innovation and product development, along with strengthening consumer relations by operating through core regions. It also has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. However, lackluster sales trend in the company’s key North American market remains a headwind. Also, gross margin in the last quarter was hurt by currency woes and a higher mix of off-price sales. Further, management anticipates near-term results to be hurt by the tough retail environment, which led to a bleak second quarter view. Nevertheless, second-quarter estimates have been stable ahead of the earnings release.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on NKE. B. Riley restated a neutral rating on shares of Nike in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Goldman Sachs Group set a $59.00 target price on Nike and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, December 14th. Susquehanna Bancshares restated a hold rating and set a $57.00 target price on shares of Nike in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Jefferies Group restated a hold rating and set a $48.00 target price (down from $49.00) on shares of Nike in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $50.00 price target (down previously from $51.00) on shares of Nike in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and twenty-two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $63.57.

Shares of Nike (NKE) traded up $1.18 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $64.77. The stock had a trading volume of 14,352,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,642,600. The firm has a market cap of $103,748.16, a PE ratio of 27.06, a P/E/G ratio of 2.99 and a beta of 0.64. Nike has a fifty-two week low of $50.35 and a fifty-two week high of $65.18. The company has a current ratio of 2.67, a quick ratio of 1.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29.

Nike (NYSE:NKE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, December 21st. The footwear maker reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $8.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.39 billion. Nike had a return on equity of 31.88% and a net margin of 11.47%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.50 EPS. research analysts forecast that Nike will post 2.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 4th will be given a $0.20 dividend. This is a positive change from Nike’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 1st. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.24%. Nike’s payout ratio is presently 34.04%.

In other news, Chairman Mark G. Parker sold 135,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.03, for a total transaction of $7,429,050.00. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 1,637,736 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $90,124,612.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Monique S. Matheson sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $650,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,248 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,511,120. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 290,094 shares of company stock worth $17,480,160. 3.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of NKE. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its position in shares of Nike by 43.5% during the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 2,209,161 shares of the footwear maker’s stock worth $123,117,000 after acquiring an additional 670,079 shares during the period. Mastrapasqua Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Nike by 2.5% during the first quarter. Mastrapasqua Asset Management Inc. now owns 163,367 shares of the footwear maker’s stock worth $9,104,000 after purchasing an additional 3,982 shares in the last quarter. WFG Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Nike by 87.4% during the first quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 4,178 shares of the footwear maker’s stock worth $233,000 after purchasing an additional 1,948 shares in the last quarter. Tredje AP fonden grew its stake in shares of Nike by 3.8% during the first quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 118,221 shares of the footwear maker’s stock worth $6,610,000 after purchasing an additional 4,275 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Roundview Capital LLC grew its stake in shares of Nike by 2.2% during the first quarter. Roundview Capital LLC now owns 36,022 shares of the footwear maker’s stock worth $2,008,000 after purchasing an additional 785 shares in the last quarter. 62.56% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Nike

NIKE, Inc is engaged in the design, development, marketing and selling of athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. The Company’s operating segments include North America, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Greater China, Japan and Emerging Markets. Its portfolio brands include the NIKE Brand, Jordan Brand, Hurley and Converse.

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