Nike reports 3% rise in sales in most recent quarter

Nike stock surged to record highs on Friday after the sportswear giant reported a 3% increase in sales in the most recent quarter.

Nike reported net income of $1.1 billion, or 69 cents per share, for the quarter ended May 31, up from $1 billion, or 60 cents a share, a year ago.

Nike said that the rise in earnings was driven by strong revenue growth, gross margin expansion, a lower tax rate and a lower average share count, partially offset by higher selling and administrative expense.

nike_logoSales in the quarter rose 13% to $9.8 billion, beating expectations. Nike attributed the rise to strong double-digit revenue growth in international markets and NIKE Direct globally, and a return to growth in North America.

The biggest rise in sales was in China, where sales increased by 35 percent in the quarter ended May 31. Revenue from Asia Pacific and Latin America increased 12 percent, while sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa rose 24 percent.

Nike said that sales growth this year would be stronger than previously estimated.

“Our new innovation is winning with consumers, driving significant momentum in our international geographies and a return to growth in North America,” said Mark Parker, Chairman, President and CEO, NIKE, Inc.

“Fueled by a complete digital transformation of our company end-to-end, this year set the foundation for Nike’s next wave of long-term, sustainable growth and profitability.”

The company also announced a new four-year $15 billion share repurchase program.