Nike CEO notes ‘behavioral issues’ as shares jump on earnings beat

Nike CEO Mark Parker acknowledged “behavioral issues” and the impending departure of Nike brand president Trevor Edwards on Thursday as strong international sales performance drove the apparel giant to better-than-expected quarterly results.

Parker reiterated that recent complaints about workplace conduct among some executives had revealed behavior that was “inconsistent with Nike’s values.” Edwards and another top executive resigned from the company earlier this month after female colleagues raised concerns about a toxic work environment.

The Nike CEO said Edwards will serve as an advisor during the transition period in the company’s leadership structure before retiring in August. Company officials did not provide further details about recent executive changes. Edwards did not face any direct allegations of misbehavior, the company previously said.

"I'm committed to ensure we have an environment where every Nike employee can have a positive experience,” said Parker, who has committed to remain Nike’s CEO beyond the year 2020.

Nike easily topped Wall Street’s expectations with adjusted earnings per share of 68 cents and quarterly revenue of $8.98 billion. Analysts had projected adjusted EPS of 53 cents and revenue of $8.85 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Nike shares jumped more than 5% in post-market trading after the earnings beat.

The strong results were driven by 24% sales growth in China and 19% growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Sales in the highly competitive North American marketplace fell 6%, but Nike Chief Financial Officer Andy Campion said the company expects the region to return to growth in fiscal 2019.

Despite the beat, the company reported a net loss of $921 million, or 57 cents, due to a one-time charge of $2 billion tied to recent U.S. corporate tax reform.