5 Stocks To Watch This Week – March 21, 2016

(Photo Credit: daniel julià lundgren)

We’re officially at the crossover point for earnings season, with some stragglers still reporting for Q4, such as Krispy Kreme and GameStop, while a handful of names, including Nike, Finish Line and Red Hat are beginning to report for the first quarter.

Tuesday, March 22

Thursday, March 24

Nike (NKE)

Consumer Discretionary – Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods | Reports March 22, after the close.

The Estimize community is looking for EPS of $0.50 and revenue of $8.2 billion, 2 cents higher than Wall Street on the bottom-line, in-line on the top-line. Nike is seeing adverse revisions activity lately with earnings estimates falling 7% in the past three months. Still, the footwear company is predicted to see favorable year-over-year earnings growth of 11% and sales growth of 10%.

What to Watch: Just ahead of its FQ3 2016 report, Nike introduced the first-ever power lacing sneaker, an ode to Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future. Nike’s creative and innovative prowess has been leaps and bounds ahead of the competition in recent years, solidifying its staunch market position in the footwear industry. In the past 12 months the footwear giant has rode 4 consecutive earnings beats to a 29.6% increase in share price.

Like most retailers, Nike’s growth strategy has focused on developing its digital and ecommerce channels. In the first half of this fiscal year, digital sales grew 48% YoY on a constant currency basis. Online sales have also driven growth in Nike’s key Direct to Consumer segment. At its current pace, Nike is expecting digital revenue to reach $7 billion on $50 billion of total revenue by 2020. The company is also investing in 3D printing, with the goal of allowing customers to one day print sneakers from home.

The biggest obstacles the footwear giant is facing include stiffening competition, stagnant spending trends in the US and a slowdown in China (the company’s fastest growing region, responsible for nearly 15% of total sales). From a competitive standpoint, the rapidly growing Under Armour brand has been Nike’s biggest threat. With Tom Brady and Stephen Curry representing the brand, the two hottest athletes in their respective sports, experts believe other top athletes will begin to change allegiances to Under Armour from Nike. For the time being, Nike still remains the preeminent player at the moment, with a portfolio of star athletes in all major sports, a rapidly growing digital channel and a list of new innovative products on the way.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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