Nike Downgraded On Increased Competition And Growth Risk

Nike Inc. was downgraded to hold from buy at Jefferies on concern that increased competition in the U.S. is putting growth and margins at risk. Jefferies cut its price target to $60 from $75. Jefferies analysts led by Randal Konik cite market data that shows increased website visits, market share and brand share for top running items going to Adidas AG . Analysts also say there are a rising number of Adidas mentions on Finish Line Inc. and Foot Locker Inc. earnings calls. "[W]e believe secular industry tailwinds still exist, but Adidas brand heat dilutes them, and Nike innovation is strong, but there's less buzz around its near-term pipeline," the note said. Nike shares are down 2.4% in Monday trading, but up 5.7% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 8.4% for 2017 so far.

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