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Can DTC Strength Bolster Nike’s Earnings? ($NKE)

June 24, 2021

Can DTC Strength Bolster Nike’s Earnings? ($NKE)

Since the outset of the pandemic last year, Nike (NKE) has made sweeping changes to its business model.
Its direct-to-consumer (DTC) segment has exploded higher: +20% YoY in 21Q3 (ended 2/28) with digital sales now accounting for more than 35% of its total business.
Underlying digital-specific consumer Mentions confirm the shift in strategy, but growth has started to slow…NKE Digital Mentions are flat YoY, down from +86% YoY in the prior quarter (90-day moving average).

However, digital Mentions remain significantly elevated relative to pre-COVID levels: +94% vs. 2019 on the same 90-day trendline. We’re expecting to see a strong YoY sales improvement, especially considering the easy comps. Still, several issues remain:

  • The Greater China market represents a growing portion of the company’s revenue.
  • We’re not seeing robust demand growth for Nike’s top footwear brands (Footwear accounted for 66.6% of total Nike brand revenue last quarter).
  • Supply-chain issues could put pressure on margins, as the price of sneaker inputs and transportation rises.
  • Some brands are showing comparative weakness, including the Jordan brand.

Nike reports 21Q4 results on June 24 after market close.

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