NIKE Update HOLD

NKE

 NYSE : US$79.27
HOLD  Target: US$71.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION: Nike, Inc. designs, develops and markets footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for men, women and children worldwide.  NKE focuses on sports-inspired apparel, footwear and accessories.  NKE was founded in 1964 & headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon

Consumer & Retail — Footwear and Apparel STRONG DEMAND TRENDS MITIGATED BY FX AND EXPENSES
Investment recommendation

NKE reported F3Q results of 76c vs. our/consensus 66c/72c estimate. A push-out of World Cup expenses (+9c) into Q4 comprised the largest contribution to the beat (relative to our model). Additionally, stronger sales growth (+2c) and lower taxes (+3c) were partially offset by less gross margin expansion (-1c) and higher other expense (-3c). The solid sales momentum NKE is experiencing across product categories (e.g., basketball, running, footwear, apparel) and geographies (NA, Western Europe, and Emerging Markets) coupled with 14% futures growth, is impressive. That said, FX headwinds hurt Q3 results and will continue to mount through F2015 with added pressure from continued investments in women’s, DTC, and digital. As such, F2015 EPS growth is now likely at ~12% with little upside opportunity. Given NKE’s premium 24.5x valuation, we prefer to leverage its product strength via the retailers (FL and FINL) and as thus maintain our HOLD rating.
Investment highlights  Solid 14% futures were driven by outstanding growth in WE (+30% vs. our 25%), while NA (+9% vs. our 12%) showed early signs of deceleration (down 500bps sequentially). Also, we do not expect the rebound in China (-3%) to materialize until late F2015 given the new seasonal ship-in strategy that just began, despite clean inventories.
 ASPs/DTC helped Q3 GM; however, product costs/FX muted the gains to 28bps (10bps below us). Mix should help Q4 by 50-75bps.
Valuation Our $71 target is a blend of 21x 2015E EPS / 14x EBITDA / DCF.

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