Nike surges as North America returns to growth, share buybacks announced

Nike shares surged on Friday to a new record as the sports apparel giant beat expectations on quarterly earnings and unveiled a $15 billion share buyback program.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NKE NIKE INC. 122.90 -2.45 -1.95%

The company, helped by strength in footwear and apparel, returned to revenue growth in the crucial North America segment, where it has faced tough competition from Adidas, Under Armour and other footwear brands. North American revenue rose 3% to $3.88 million, marking the first positive result in three quarters.

“Our new innovation is winning with consumers, driving significant momentum in our international geographies and a return to growth in North America,” Nike Chairman and CEO Mark Parker said in a statement. “Fueled by a complete digital transformation of our company end-to-end, this year set the foundation for Nike’s next wave of long-term, sustainable growth and profitability.”

Shares and are up about 15% so far this year.

The Oregon-based company reported that revenue rose 12.8% to $9.79 billion in its fourth fiscal quarter, topping analysts’ expectations for $9.41 billion. Quarterly earnings per share rose to 69 cents on net income of $1.14 billion, up from 60 cents in the same period one year ago.

Nike approved $15 billion in buybacks of Class B stock over a four-year period. The new program is expected to begin during fiscal 2019, the company said.

Quarterly sales rose 10% to $2.47 billion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 25% to $1.47 billion in China.