Dec 19, 2014
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Nike flags slowing growth in western Europe, emerging markets

Dec 19, 2014

Nike Inc's futures orders rose at its slowest pace in four quarters, indicating weakening demand for the sportswear maker's products in emerging markets and western Europe.

Shares of the company, which reported better-than-expected second-quarter results, fell 3.17 percent in extended trading.

Expectations were extremely high after two quarters of "pretty big earnings beats", but Nike beat by a few pennies, Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said, adding that the slowdown in futures orders could also be a cause for concern.

Nike said global futures orders, an indicator of demand, at the end of the second quarter was 11 percent higher, excluding currency changes, than a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting a 11.3 percent growth in orders for Nike-branded footwear and apparel for delivery from December through April, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

In western Europe, a major growth market for Nike, futures orders rose 13 percent, lower than the expected 15 percent.

Orders growth in emerging markets – which includes Brazil, Mexico and the Asia-Pacific region other than Japan – was 1 percent, much lower than the 7 percent rise analysts expected.

Order growth in western Europe and emerging markets, which together accounted for nearly a third of fiscal 2014 sales, was 20 percent and 9 percent respectively at the end of the first quarter.

Nike's said net income rose 23 percent to $655 million, or 74 cents, in second quarter ended Nov. 30. Revenue rose 15 percent to $7.38 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 70 cents per share, on revenue of $7.15 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Nike shares were trading at $94 after the bell. They closed at $97.08 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

1 USD = 0.639 GBP

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