By  on September 22, 2006

Nike Inc.'s earnings dropped 12.7 percent in the first quarter, largely because of expensing stock options.

For the three months ended Aug. 31, the Beaverton, Ore.-based athletic giant reported earnings fell to $377.2 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, from $432.3 million, or $1.61, in the same period a year ago.

Sales increased 8.6 percent to $4.2 billion from $3.9 billion, driven by growth in all of Nike products' regional markets, particularly Asia-Pacific and the Americas, as well as growth in its other businesses, which include Converse Inc., Nike Golf, Nike Bauer Hockey and Cole Haan Holdings Inc.

"Our businesses around the world continue to deliver high top-line growth," Mark Parker, president and chief executive officer of Nike Inc., said in a conference call after the market closed Thursday.

The company took a first-time $40.8 million hit related to the expensing of stock options. This reduced earnings per share by 16 cents.

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