NEW YORK — Fueled by gains in the U.S. and tight expense management, Nike Inc.'s third-quarter earnings surged 19.2 percent and were far ahead of expectations.
The company reported that profits jumped to $325.8 million, or $1.24 a share, from $273.4 million, or $1.04 in the quarter ended Feb. 28, while revenues surged 9.2 percent to $3.6 billion. Analysts on average had been looking for Nike to earn $1.11 a share.
This was the company's first quarter operating under the leadership of Mark Parker, a Nike veteran who became president and chief executive officer in January.
Parker said in a statement Tuesday, "The strength of our product pipeline, brand portfolio and global reach is enabling us to balance continued challenges in markets such as Western Europe and Japan with strong momentum in other key markets and regions."
In a call with analysts late Tuesday, Parker cited the women's fitness business as a particularly strong performer in the quarter. Nike, the world's largest activewear group, has sought in recent years to elevate its women's business with a more fashionable selection of offerings for a range of activities, including fitness dance and yoga.
U.S. revenues in the third quarter increased 14 percent to $1.4 billion, with footwear sales rising 18 percent to $1 billion and apparel sales up 6 percent to $366.6 million. In the Americas region, which includes South and Central America, sales rose 41 percent in the quarter to $203.1 million.
Not all regions saw gains, however. European sales dipped 5 percent to $532.3 million, and were down both in apparel and footwear.
Sales at the company's "other businesses" division, which includes Converse, Nike Golf, Hurley, Starter and other brands, climbed 17 percent to $454.5 million, Nike said. This area has been a key growth vehicle for the company as it seeks to build its business outside of the core Nike brand.
Worldwide future orders, a key indicator of growth, edged up 2.9 percent over the year-ago period. This has been an area of concern to analysts recently, since the company said late last year that it had a slowdown in futures orders.Gross margins fell slightly, to 43.6 percent from 44.1 percent.
In the nine-month period, earnings grew 22.8 percent to $1.06 billion, or $4 a share, from $862.1 million, or $3.18 per share. Sales improved 9.3 percent to $10.9 billion from $10 billion.
Results were reported Tuesday after the market closed. Prior to the market closing, Nike's shares slipped 56 cents to $84.95 on the New York Stock Exchange.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews