Shares of Nike (NYSE: NKE) were up 7% as of 12:15 p.m. EDT Friday after the athletic footwear and sportswear juggernaut released strong fiscal second-quarter 2019 results.
More specifically, Nike's quarterly revenue climbed 9.6% (or 14% at constant currency) to $9.374 billion, translating 10.4% growth in net income to $847 million, and a 13% increase in net income per share to $0.52. By contrast, in September, Nike told investors to expect significantly lower top-line growth of 9%, and most investors watching the stock would have settled for earnings of $0.46 per share.
Perhaps most impressive, NIKE brand revenue in the troublesome North American segment climbed 9%, accelerating from 6% growth last quarter. International NIKE brand revenue also increased 8% (or 14% adjusted for currencies), with double-digit currency-neutral growth in every geography.
"Amidst an increasingly dynamic macro environment, what is certain is that NIKE's execution of the Consumer Direct Offense is driving consistently strong growth across our diverse, global portfolio," stated Nike CFO Andy Campion.
What's more, Nike raised its full-year outlook to call for currency-neutral growth in the high single-digit range, with a chance it could reach low double-digit growth depending on macroeconomic challenges. The company also expects gross margin this year will expand roughly 70 basis points from fiscal 2018, a 20-basis point improvement from its previous target.
In the end, this was a straightforward beat and raise from Nike that gives investors every right to cheer. With shares trading more than 20% below their all-time highs (set in September) heading into this report, the stock is unsurprisingly rallying in response.
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