Shares of Nike Inc. (NKE -0.32%) climbed 11.3% in the month of June, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the athletic footwear and sportswear giant announced strong quarterly results and a new deal with Amazon.com.
Nearly all of Nike's gains last month came as the stock popped nearly 11% on June 30 alone -- the first trading day after its official earnings release. In it, Nike confirmed that fiscal fourth-quarter 2017 revenue had climbed 5.3% year over year (7% at constant currency) to $8.68 billion, net income increased 19.1% to $1.01 billion, and net income per share grew 22.4% to $0.60. Both the top and bottom lines were well above analysts' consensus estimates, which called for revenue of $8.63 billion and earnings of $0.50 per share.
Nike also excited investors when it confirmed a new pilot program to bring a limited number of products to Amazon in the U.S. -- an encouraging development that could help drive growth in North America, where revenue climbed just 1% last quarter to $3.753 billion.
Perhaps anticipating investors' concerns over whether Nike can maintain its premium brand image on an online retail platform outside of its own direct-to-consumer efforts, Nike CEO Mark Parker elaborated:
As we do with all of our partners, we're looking for ways to improve the NIKE consumer experience on Amazon by elevating the way the brand is presented and increasing the quality of product storytelling. We're in the early stages, but we really look forward to evaluating the results of the pilot. Whether it's through our own channels, printing press concepts with long time partners or exploring new commerce partners, NIKE's defining what's possible at retail to better serve consumers and unlock growth.
Looking to current fiscal first quarter of 2018, Nike told investors to expect revenue to be flat on a year-over-year basis as reported. But growth should be roughly in line with the past two quarters' rates when normalized for unusual events that fell in the same year-ago period including the Olympics, European Football Championship, and Nike's exit from the golf equipment segment last summer. For the full fiscal year, Nike anticipates currency-neutral revenue growth in the mid- to high-single-digit range.
Nike turned in a strong year-end performance that left investors rightly satisfied with its direction and global growth strategies. As such, I think the market was right to bid shares up to near their 52-week highs last month.