Nike Beats Earnings Expectations Due to Digital Growth

    • Nike's revenue was down 1% to $10.6 billion for its first fiscal quarter of 2021.
    • Online sales grew 82%.

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Nike Inc, the apparel and shoe giant, beat analysts’ estimates for its first fiscal quarter of 2021 as online sales took off, the company reported on Sept. 22. 

Nike’s net income jumped to $1.52 billion, or 95 cents per share, compared to $1.37 billion, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier. That is better than the 47 cents per share that Wall Street analysts expected.

The company’s revenue for the period also fell only 0.6% to $10.59 billion compared to $10.66 billion a year earlier. It was better than the $9.15 billion that the analysts were expecting. And despite the slight drop in revenue for the period, online sales and the quick adoption to the consumers’ needs have kept the company going in the pandemic.

“In this dynamic environment, no one can match our pace of launching innovative product and our Brand’s deep connection to consumers. These strengths, coupled with our digital acceleration, are unlocking Nike’s long-term market potential,” said Nike CEO and President John Donahoe.

Online sales rose 82% for the first quarter, as the company swiftly adapted to the growing need for online shopping due to its stores closing worldwide. The company has put an increased emphasis on its direct-to-consumer strategies in recent years, especially its SNKRS app.

“Nike is recovering faster based on accelerating brand momentum and digital growth, as well as our relentless focus on normalizing marketplace supply and demand,” said Matt Friend, the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We continue to drive investment in capabilities that will fuel our consumer-led digital transformation, catalyzing long-term growth and profitability for Nike.”

Along with the further expansion into the direct-to-consumer market, Nike slowly opened its doors worldwide. Almost 90% of its stores were open during the quarter across North America and China.

However, despite the majority of stores opening, Nike continues to see a year-over-year decline in physical retail traffic due to safety related measures in place across the globe. 

Sales in China grew 6%, while sales in North America dropped 2% during the first quarter. 

Nike’s shares are up 15% year-to-date as of Sept. 22’s market close.