Nike Inc. ran directly into the force of strong currency headwinds in the fourth quarter and came out of the confrontation virtually unscathed.
And for the full-year period, the company delivered sales that surpassed the $30 billion mark.
Nike branded footwear led the charge, with quarterly revenues hitting $4.78 billion, up 8.6 percent overall and 17 percent on a currency-neutral basis. The brand’s apparel sales rose 0.9 percent, 7 percent excluding currency changes, to $2.16 billion. Total Nike brand sales rose 5.2 percent to $7.38 billion and were up 13 percent at constant currency.
Net income for the three months ended May 31 rose 23.9 percent to $865 million, or 98 cents a diluted share, from $698 million, or 78 cents a year ago. On average, analysts expected EPS of 83 cents.
Revenues grew 4.8 percent, to $7.78 billion from $7.43 billion, and were up 13 percent at constant currency. Converse’s portion of the total was up 6.1 percent to $435 million from $410 million. Stripping out currency’s effects, Converse grew 14 percent in the quarter.
The company noted that — at constant currency — the Nike brand had increases during the quarter in every product category except soccer and every geographical region except its emerging markets business.
The gross margin rate improved to 46.2 percent from 45.6 percent a year ago due to “higher average selling prices and continued growth in the higher-margin direct-to-consumer business.” Those positive factors were partially offset by higher input and logistics costs.
Nike’s reading of futures orders, those scheduled for delivery by November, was $13.5 billion, 2 percent higher than a year ago, but 13 percent above the 2014 figure at constant currency.
For the full year, Nike’s net income rose 21.5 percent to $3.27 billion, or $3.70 a diluted share, from $2.69 billion, or $2.97. Revenues crossed the $30 billion threshold, expanding 10.1 percent to $30.6 billion from $27.8 billion.
The company said sales to wholesale customers increased 10 percent on a currency-neutral basis during the year, while direct-to-consumer revenues gained 29 percent to $6.6 billion, excluding currency changes, as comparable-store sales grew 16 percent and online sales were up 59 percent.
The company finished the quarter with 832 of its own stores, up from 768 units one year ago.
For the year, the company’s basketball business was a standout, up 19.1 percent to $3.72 billion. Earlier this month, Nike reached an agreement with the NBA to become its official uniform and apparel provider.
Shares fell 0.9 percent during the regular hours of New York Stock Exchange trading but moved up following the 4 p.m. earnings release. Ninety minutes after the close, they were quoted at $107.96, up 2.6 percent and above their previous all-time high.