Nike's futures orders surge as demand in China, North America soars

Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:55pm EST
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By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) - Nike Inc (NKE.N: Quote), the world's largest footwear maker, reported futures orders that breezed past analysts' estimates, powered by strong demand in North America and China.

The company's shares, already the top performing year-to-date Dow component, rose 2.5 percent to $135.23, in extended trading on Tuesday.

The Nike brand orders for delivery from December through April, a gauge of demand the company calls "futures orders", rose 20 percent, excluding currency, as of Nov. 30.

Analysts on average had expected futures orders growth of 13.6 percent, according to Consensus Metrix.

Futures orders in Greater China - a fast-growing market - jumped 34 percent, the biggest jump in two years. It rose 14 percent in North America.

New footwear launches in the basketball, running and sports categories are helping Nike draw customers toward higher-priced products, while the "athleisure" trend is driving sales in the athletic apparel sector.

Nike's higher-margin Jordan, LeBron, Kobe and KD basketball shoe brands have been especially popular in the U.S., helping drive sales of the company's footwear division.

The company's running shoe brands, which include Lunar, Free, Flyknit, Roshe Run, Huarache and Max Air, have also seen rising demand.   Continued...

A customer exits the Niketown store in midtown Manhattan in New York June 25, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files