Nike's Got Plenty of Room Left to Run

Nike's continued success has made it a strong American brand, but a stumble last week has rumbled some on Wall Street.

Mar 25, 2014 at 6:00PM

Last week, Nike (NYSE:NKE) announced strong third-quarter earnings, but the company took a hit from the investing world when it forecast a weaker fourth quarter. For investors looking to get into this strong brand, the 5% decline could offer a relatively rare discount. Investors who are looking for a known quantity with a strong history of dividend payments and room for growth would do well to see how Nike fits into their portfolios.


Source: Nike.

Nike's business in a nutshell
Nike sells shoes. All right, let's move on to -- what's that? Oh, you want a little more info before you go spending your money on a company? Smart. Nike does sell shoes, and its business is firmly rooted in the exercise industry. In fact, Nike's founder, Bill Bowerman, is widely credited with helping to bring jogging to the U.S., after having seen people exercising in New Zealand.

That was back in the 1960s, when Bowerman and co-founder Phil Knight were just getting started. Now, Nike moves more than $25 billion of product annually, including almost $15 billion in footwear. Nike's second-biggest category is apparel, which generates almost $7 billion in sales annually and is thriving in the U.S. and emerging markets.

Global growth has been a consistent theme at Nike, but this most recent earnings forecast reined in the more bullish forecasts. Nike expects foreign exchange rates to hurt its fourth quarter, and the company continues to have trouble in China. 

The benefits of being big
Apart from some fourth-quarter headwinds, Nike is still operating a strong business. Sales are on the rise, if at a slower pace, and Nike is well out in front of its competitors. Globally, the business is in a tight race with Adidas (NASDAQOTH:ADDYY) in Western Europe, where the two brands are about even in their share of the sporting goods market. In China, both companies are having trouble breaking into the market.

In the U.S., Nike simply dominates. While most consumers think of Nike and Under Armour (NYSE:UA) as being the big forces in American sports, Nike is far and away the larger player. Under Armour's total U.S. revenue in its last fiscal year was just $2.2 billion -- around a fifth of Nike's sales.

That shouldn't be taken as a knock against Under Armour -- it's simply a smaller, younger business. It's the kind of business that is still sinking every penny back into itself to generate growth, while Nike investors are getting a 1.2% dividend yield.

Still more space for Nike to grow
While Nike has been struggling in China, the market offers a huge opportunity. Nike, Adidas, and all other foreign sellers combined only make up 20% of the Chinese footwear market. That's a market that's growing at 10% a year and has already surpassed every other country in size. Right now, Nike is losing ground in China, generating just 10% of its footwear revenue in the country.

China is the next big growth opportunity for Nike, and investors who believe in the company will be rewarded if management can crack the riddle. Growth in China isn't right around the corner for Nike, but with a solid dividend and a strong brand backing it up, Nike continues to look like a company worth holding on to as it finds new ways to make more money.

America's plan to take the crown back from China
For the first time since the early days of this country, we're in a position to dominate the global manufacturing landscape thanks to a single, revolutionary technology: 3-D printing. Although this sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, the success of 3-D printing is already a foregone conclusion to many manufacturers around the world. The trick now is to identify the companies -- and thereby the stocks -- that will prevail in the battle for market share. To see the three companies that are currently positioned to do so, simply download our invaluable free report on the topic by clicking here now.

Andrew Marder has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Nike and Under Armour. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

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This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

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KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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