Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Nike’s customer-centric approach, innovative products and strong portfolio has helped strengthened its position in the footwear and athletic apparel industry. The company also continues to seek opportunities for increasing its market share via acquisitions, contracts to supply sports-related assortments, and development of its eCommerce and DTC business model. Nike’s strategic initiatives are well reflected from its positive earnings surprise streak over the past 16 straight quarters. However, top line has been missing estimates for quite some time due to adverse currency movements. Evidently, the company expects lingering currency woes to strongly hurt revenues in first-half fiscal 2017. Also, the company’s future orders witnessed a considerable slowdown and lagged expectations in the fourth quarter due to stiff competition from rivals. Estimates have been stable ahead of the company’s first-quarter earnings release.”

Analyst Recommendations for Nike (NYSE:NKE)

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. B. Riley downgraded shares of Nike from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $62.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Friday, August 26th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $68.00 price objective on shares of Nike in a report on Friday, August 26th. Brean Capital reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Nike in a report on Sunday, August 21st. Vetr raised shares of Nike from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $56.94 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, August 29th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Nike in a report on Sunday, July 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and twenty-two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $65.63.

Shares of Nike (NYSE:NKE) opened at 55.34 on Friday. Nike has a 1-year low of $51.48 and a 1-year high of $68.19. The firm has a market cap of $92.84 billion, a PE ratio of 25.62 and a beta of 0.52. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $56.82 and a 200 day moving average of $57.46.

Nike (NYSE:NKE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, June 28th. The footwear maker reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.01. Nike had a net margin of 11.61% and a return on equity of 29.57%. The company earned $8.24 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.28 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.49 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Nike will post $2.40 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 6th will be given a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 1st. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.16%. Nike’s payout ratio is 29.63%.

In other Nike news, EVP Hilary K. Krane sold 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.99, for a total value of $5,699,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 310,795 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,712,207.05. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP John F. Slusher sold 72,696 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.75, for a total value of $4,198,194.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 231,861 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,389,972.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. CapWealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Nike by 183.3% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,700 shares of the footwear maker’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates boosted its position in shares of Nike by 12.5% in the first quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates now owns 1,800 shares of the footwear maker’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. SevenBridge Financial Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Nike during the second quarter worth about $100,000. Cribstone Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Nike during the second quarter worth about $106,000. Finally, Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc boosted its position in shares of Nike by 0.3% in the second quarter. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc now owns 2,003 shares of the footwear maker’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the last quarter. 62.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Nike Company Profile

NIKE, Inc is engaged in the design, development, marketing and selling of athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. The Company sells its products to retail accounts, through NIKE-owned retail stores and Internet Websites (which the Company refers to as its Direct to Consumer or DTC operations), and through a mix of independent distributors and licensees throughout the world.

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