NKE: Choose Your 'Term'

One of the big brokers is out with positive comments on Nike over the 'near-term.' We're the biggest long-term bulls here of anyone. But unless 'near-term' is six months out, we question this one. Choose your duration wisely here.

We note the following.

  1. If ‘near-term’  = this quarter, then we’re less optimistic. There still a firm –(300bp) yy gross margin headwind that Nike needs to pass, and then what’s likely to be another meaningful hit in its August quarter.
  2. We absolutely positively agree that Nike’s pricing initiatives will work. But we won’t see it until the November quarter.
  3. Then the February and May quarters of next year are the big margin movers – which, mind you, is also the same time that Nike sells into the Olympics, is coming off of less-stressed inventory levels.
  4. Most importantly, these things will culminate in the sweet spot of execution on its consumer-centric growth platform – which is the key factor that we think takes it from $20bn to $28bn over 3-years. That’s pretty dang solid, longer-term.

The bottom line is that estimates for the upcoming quarters have come down to some degree, which is a positive. Perhaps that mitigates the stock getting spanked as the Retail group comes under severe pressure in 2H (per our broader thesis).  But where we come up dry is why this is something that makes the stock go up over the near-term.  For those that love to buy great businesses at great prices, we think you’ll have a better shot at Nike than at $85.