What happened

Nike (NKE -1.95%) shares crossed the finish line into positive territory on Tuesday, inching up to close nearly 1% higher. The storied athletic footwear and apparel maker got a lift from a pair of prominent banks issuing research updates on the stock. 

So what

That morning, Citigroup analyst Paul Lejuez raised his price target on Nike significantly, to $115 per share from his preceding $93. Although he's maintaining his neutral recommendation on the shares, he's placing them on his company's "30-day positive catalyst watch."

Said (potential) catalyst is Nike's soon-to-be-published second quarter of fiscal 2023 results. He believes these will top analyst consensus estimates thanks to stronger-than-expected sales, and wider margins. Lejuez deduced this based on amped-up promotional activity by the company and its retail partners, in addition to Nike's effectiveness in reducing excess inventory. 

While he isn't ready to bump up his neutral recommendation just yet, he did indicate some bullishness on that inventory reduction, and on good prospects for the company in the Chinese market.

A more optimistic stance on Nike was expressed by Lujuez's fellow analyst, Alexandra Straton at Morgan Stanley. Also that morning, Straton upped her price target slightly on the stock (to $127 per share from $120), and reiterated her buy recommendation.

Now what

Nike's second-quarter earnings release is slated for next Tuesday, just after the market closes, followed by a conference call with management. On average, the prognosticators tracking the stock are expecting a nearly 11% year-over-year increase in revenue to just under $12.6 billion. Conversely, per-share net income is expected to drop by more than 21% to $0.65.