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Historically, tumultuous times offer some of the best opportunities to invest in killer stocks, and the market's recent mess surely qualifies. And though shoemaker Nike (NYSE: NKE ) has already recovered from the recession, many investors expect even better times ahead.
In our Motley Fool CAPS community, 93% of the 1,705 investors rating the company are bullish, so there's no shortage of reasons why Nike will thrive, three of which I've highlighted below.
But here at The Motley Fool, we're all for looking at both the good and the bad sides of an investment. Once you're done with this article, you can read the case against the stock, weigh in with your own comments below, or rate Nike yourself in CAPS.
1. What recession?
Shares of Nike recently hit all-time highs following solid quarterly earnings that showed little to be unhappy about in both domestic and emerging markets. Retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS ) have seen a pickup in demand lately, and analysts say that Nike has taken market share from competitors like Under Armour (NYSE: UA ) and adidas. The company has benefited from improving trends across the board, and with strong orders for future delivery, many investors expect the good times to continue.
2. Brand power
While some retail and apparel brands like Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX ) have been in and out of favor, Nike has methodically fostered its image over the years and developed a killer brand that is well-known around the world, similar to Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) or Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) . Its endorsements from some of the top athletes in major sports, like basketball's LeBron James and golf's Tiger Woods, should keep the brand strong, and many investors see this as a key quality to have in a long-term holding.
3. Showing the money
Nike's strong balance sheet has helped it weather the downturn and remain focused on growth. The company has pulled in positive free cash flow in recent years, and with minimal debt on the books compared with about $4 billion in cash, many CAPS members think Nike can still thrive.