As the ‘macroeconomic outlook’ worsens, Nike’s stock rises on the strength of its first-quarter profits and its faith in the purchasing power of Chinese

After the market closed on Thursday, Nike (NKE) announced its fiscal first quarter results, which showed less of a downturn than expected in the wholesale division of the business but still beat Wall Street’s projections for gross margins and earnings per share.

Stock in the retailer rose by over 9 percent as executives allayed investor concerns about a downturn in Greater China and emphasized the resilience of the consumer.

Nike CFO Matthew Friend said on an earnings call, “We continue to see consumer demand for our brands and for our products to be very, very strong.” The consumer, it seems, has surprising staying power.


The following is a comparison of Nike’s results to the consensus estimates of Wall Street analysts as reported by the Yahoo Finance:

  • Revenue was $12.94 billion, compared to $12.99 billion expected and $12.69 billion in the prior-year period.
  • Adjusted EPS of $0.94, up from $0.75 estimates and $0.93 in the prior-year period.
  • Estimated gross margin is 44.2%, up from 43.7% (approx.) and 44.3% (same period last year).

Nike’s stockpiles decreased by 10% year over year in the most recent quarter, to $8.7 billion. Stocks were forecast to be $8.84 billion, according to analysts. Since an oversupply of goods afflicted the store during 2022, this indicator has been carefully monitored.

Meanwhile, the shoe giant’s coveted direct-to-consumer sales grew to $5.4 billion, a rise of 6 percent over the same time last year. Wall Street analysts had been warning of a lackluster performance from the athletic clothing giant Nike, whose stock had fallen 9% in the month leading up to the announcement.

Nike Stock Surges

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Investors’ primary focus going into the quarter was on revenue from Greater China. This year’s economic growth in China has been lower than anticipated. Analysts on Wall Street are concerned it might hurt brands like Nike that have a lot riding on their success in China.

Nike’s revenue in Greater China was $1.74 billion in the most recent quarter. Bloomberg consensus statistics indicated that analysts anticipated the division to report sales of $1.83 billion.

On Tuesday, Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Kodali said on Yahoo Finance Live, “The China story is probably the biggest one here for Nike.” Nike’s dependence on the Asian market and, in particular, the Chinese customer has been a source of difficulty for the company.

There is a lot of geopolitical danger, and that’s on top of problems with the weakening of the Chinese consumer and their buying power. However, during Thursday night’s call with investors, Nike officials eased investors’ concerns about China.

John Donahoe, CEO of Nike, has visited China twice in the past four months and expressed optimism about the market and the company’s prospects there. You can feel the return of sports in China, according to Donahoe.

Regardless of China’s macroeconomic prognosis, this boosts our optimism for the future of our industry and the Chinese customer. About a month after Foot Locker reported a downturn in its footwear business due to “price sensitive” shoppers, Nike released its own report.

Nike Stock Surges

According to Jefferies, Nike accounts for roughly 64% of revenues at Foot Locker (FL). Wall Street analysts have expressed concern about Nike’s wholesale business if Foot Locker has trouble selling off its inventory of the sneaker brand.

However, during the call, management emphasized that no retail partner accounts for more than a “mid-single” digit share of Nike’s total sales. Nike’s wholesale sales were flat throughout the quarter compared to the same period a year ago. The market had forecasted a fall of 4% from the prior year’s performance.


I'm Himanshi Bhaskar, and I'm passionate about technology and the written word. My journey in the tech world has been a fascinating blend of discovery and communication. With each piece, I aim to not only inform but also inspire curiosity. Whether you're a tech novice or a seasoned enthusiast, my goal is to spark your interest and empower you to embrace the digital age with confidence.