Nike returns to growth in North America, Q4 revenues rise 13 percent
Sportswear player Nike, Inc. recorded a revenue increase of 13 percent to 9.8 billion dollars in its fourth quarter, which the company said, was driven by strong double-digit revenue growth in international markets and Nike Direct globally, and a return to growth in North America. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter rose 15 percent to 0.69 dollar.
“Our new innovation is winning with consumers, driving significant momentum in our international geographies and a return to growth in North America,” said Mark Parker, Chairman, President and CEO, Nike in a statement.
Review of Nike’s Q4 results
Revenues on a currency-neutral basis increased 8 percent in the fourth quarter. Nike added that revenues for the Nike brand were 9.3 billion dollars, up 9 percent on a currency-neutral basis, driven by double-digit increases in Nike Direct, international geographies, sportswear, global football and growth in North America.
Revenues for Converse were 512 million dollars, down 14 percent on a currency-neutral basis, as the company said, growth in Asia was more than offset by declines in other territories.
Gross margin increased 60 basis points to 44.7 percent. Nike said, net income for the quarter increased 13 percent to 1.1 billion dollars primarily due to strong global revenue growth, gross margin expansion and a lower tax rate, which were partially offset by higher selling and administrative expense, while diluted earnings per share increased 15 percent to 0.69 dollar reflecting a 2 percent decline in the weighted average diluted common shares outstanding.
Highlights of Nikes full year performance
Full year revenues for Nine Inc. rose 6 percent to 36.4 billion dollars, up 4 percent on a currency-neutral basis. Also, on a currency-neutral basis, revenues for the Nike brand were 34.5 billion dollars, up 5 percent. Nike brand sales to wholesale customers increased 2 percent while Nike Direct revenues grew 12 percent to 10.4 billion dollars, driven by a 25 percent increase in digital commerce sales, the addition of new stores and 4 percent growth in comparable store sales.
The company added that Nike brand revenue growth was driven by continued strength in international markets and Nike Direct with growth across footwear and apparel and key categories including sportswear and Nike Basketball.
Revenues for Converse were 1.9 billion dollars, down 11 percent, which the company added was due to growth in Asia offset by declines primarily in North America.
Gross margin for the year decreased 80 basis points to 43.8 percent driven by 90 basis points of unfavourable changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Net income decreased 54 percent to 1.9 billion dollars due to the impact of the Tax Act, which offset strong revenue growth. Diluted earnings per share decreased 53 percent to 1.17 dollars.
The company also announced that its board of directors has authorized a new four-year, 15 billion dollars program to repurchase shares of Nike’s Class B common stock. The company anticipates that the current 12 billion dollars share repurchase program will be completed within fiscal 2019.