I stole that headline, so I have to give credit where credit's due. That simple one-liner is what greets investors and potential investors on Nike's
And you know what? Nike is a growth company.
Sure, the company took its lumps during the global economic downturn, but at most we could call that a stumble. And it was a stumble that the global sneaker giant appears to be recovering from very quickly.
Proof of that recovery shone through in the fiscal first-quarter numbers that the company announced yesterday. On a constant-currency basis, revenue was up 10% from the prior year and diluted earnings per share -- aided by the company's ongoing $5 billion repurchase program -- climbed a similar 10%.
Perhaps most notable, though, was the fact that the company already has orders for $7.1 billion for the period between this month and January. That's up 13% year over year on a constant-currency basis.
Does that sound like a growth company? It does to me.
As Nike's CEO put it during the earnings call, the company is still "obsessed" and the people at Nike "have the hunger to seek and develop the new ideas and inspiration that allow us to innovate." And it's that passion that's likely helping to drive continued growth even in North America, where it seems nearly impossible to blow your nose without seeing a Nike swoosh. North America futures orders were up 14% on a constant-currency basis.
But as with many other large, global companies, Nike is benefiting from building its presence in faster-growing, less-penetrated markets such as China and Brazil. Futures orders for China -- where basketballer Kobe Bryant is a national hero -- leapt 23% during the quarter. Revenue in Brazil was up 70% -- and after a strong World Cup performance for Nike, it may continue to blaze ahead as we move toward the 2014 Brazil-hosted World Cup.
And to put the potential runway in perspective, total North America sales in the first quarter were $1.9 billion, while sales in China were just $460 million.
Top-shelf sporting goods
Brand expert Interbrand recently released its 2010 rankings of the top global brands. Coca-Cola
Nike edged up that same list from No. 26 to No. 25, with an estimated brand value of nearly $14 billion. The next competitor on the list was Adidas (OTC: ADDYY.PK), way down at No. 62. And while U.S. customers no doubt see Under Armour
By no means does this mean that Nike can fall asleep at the wheel. But what it does reiterate for investors is that Nike is a monster brand that in many cases will have an edge on its competitors just because that swoosh is there. And if management can keep from screwing that up, we may be able to continue to say that Nike is a growth company for some time to come.
There's nothing stupid about Nike's first quarter, but there's a lot that's stupid about this stock market advice.
Nike is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Coca-Cola is an Inside Value recommendation. Under Armour is a Rule Breakers choice. ADIDAS is a Global Gains pick. Under Armour is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. Coca-Cola is an Income Investor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of ADIDAS, Coca-Cola, International Business Machines, and Under Armour. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Coca-Cola, but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookies were harmed in the making of this article.