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SAN FRANCISCO -- First-quarter profit fell at Nike (NKE) , but the company blew away the Street's first-quarter estimates.

The Beaverton, Ore., athletic apparel giant said Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Aug. 31, fell 10% to $510.5 million, or $1.03 a share, from $569.7 million, or $1.12 a share, a year earlier, when the company posted a tax benefit of $105.4 million, or 20 cents a share.

Excluding the year-ago benefit, profit would've grown 10%, the company said.

Analysts were expecting the company to post 92 cents a share.

Revenue grew 17% to $5.4 billion, above the analysts' consensus estimate of $5.19 billion.

Nike said first-quarter revenue grew 8% in the U.S., and 20% in Europe. In the company's recent fourth quarter, U.S. revenue grew 4% year over year, while European revenue rose 19%.

Nike said worldwide futures orders for athletic footwear and apparel, scheduled for delivery from September 2008 through January 2009, totaled $6.8 billion, or 10% more than a year earlier. Currency exchange rates boosted reported orders growth by one percentage point.

In the fourth quarter, worldwide orders for June through November 2008 rose 11% from a year earlier, with currency boosting growth by three percentage points.

Shares of Nike were halted in extended trading; the stock closed down 2.6% to $59.27.

This article was written by a staff member of