updated - February 20, 2020 Thursday EST
Leading footwear maker Nike Inc. topped profit expectations for the eighth straight quarter with the strong sales of top-of-the line branded shoes and increase in advance orders.
Reuters reported that Nike's net income for the fourth quarter fiscal year increased 24 percent to $865 million from $698 million, translating to 98 cents per share or higher by 30 cents from the same period last year. Revenues, meanwhile, climbed 4.8 percent to $7.78 billion.
With better than expected performance, Nike now expects its sales to grow in the low double digits compared to its original high single digit forecast for the fiscal year, which bumped up its shares by 3.3 percent to $108.70 on Thursday. For the year, Nike shares have risen by 9.4% as of Thursday's close.
The athletic apparel giant's performance was helped by the unexpected rise of advance orders for delivery from June through November. These rose 13 percent compared to analyst projection of a decline of up to 11 percent.
Nike, the world largest footwear maker, was also helped by the healthy sales in the U.S. of the brands of its leading pitchmen such as basketball superstars Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. The company's running shoes also had brisk sales.
Sales revenues from North America, the company largest market, went up by 13 percent driven, by footwear and apparel.
Revenue from North America, Nike's largest market, rose 13 percent, mostly due to higher sales of footwear and apparel. Footwear sales, the largest source of revenue for Nike, rose 8.6 percent.
Reuters added that Nike direct-to-consumer business such as owned stores and its internet shops grew 25 percent, to help boost performance. It noted that the company has been investing more on this segment as it gets higher returns from these outlets since it can charge more there compared to to third party retailers.
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