Nike beats on earnings, boosted by strong sales outside the US

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Nike on Thursday reported fiscal-fourth-quarter profits and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations, helped by strong sales growth outside the US.

North America sales were flat year-over-year in the quarter ended May 31. They jumped 11% in China, and 21% in emerging markets. The sales improvement, notably in footwear and apparel, followed two years of sluggish growth.

Here are the other key results (and what Wall Street was expecting):

    Earnings per share: $0.60 ($0.50 expected) Revenue: $8.7 billion ($8.63 billion expected) Gross margin: 44.6% (44.3%)

Nike shares gained nearly 6% in premarket trading after the earnings, and were up 5% this year through Thursday’s market close.

The company has said it would reference future orders, a key gauge of demand from retailers, as deemed necessary during earnings calls.