Nike Reports Sales Gain Despite Weak Growth in North America

By Maria Armental Features Dow Jones Newswires

Nike Inc. said Thursday that strong sales overseas helped fuel growth in its fourth-quarter profit despite higher costs and tepid gains in North America.

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The world's largest sportswear company reported that revenue rose 5% to $8.7 billion in its latest quarter, largely driven by gains in China and emerging markets. Sales in North America -- Nike's largest market -- totaled $3.76 billion in the quarter, but that fell short of the $3.8 billion expected from analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Shares, up 4.6% so far this year, rose 2.7% to $54.60 in after-hours trading.

On Thursday, Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker said in prepared remarks that the current year would be big as it directs "even more firepower" to its revamped operations. The Beaverton, Ore., company said this month it would eliminate more than 1,000 jobs, roughly 2% of its global workforce, step up online offerings and sell directly on Amazon.com Inc.'s website.

Over all, fourth-quarter profit improved to $1.01 billion, or 60 cents a share, from $846 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 5% to $8.68 billion.

Analysts had projected $844 million, or 50 cents a share, in profit on $8.63 billion in sales.

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Gross margin narrowed to 44.1% from 45.9% a year earlier.

Write to Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 29, 2017 17:22 ET (21:22 GMT)