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Nike Earnings Preview: Is Supply Chain 'Congestion' Behind Nike?

Nike saw revenue fall sequentially in the fiscal first quarter. The company said that supply chain issues were the problem, not demand.
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Nike  (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. Class B Report is facing a pivotal earnings release on Monday as investors wait to see whether the slowdown in revenue growth in the fiscal first quarter will become a trend for the iconic sneaker and athletic apparel maker. 

The Beaverton, Ore., company reported year over year increase in revenue of about 12%, but when compared with the previous quarter, its $12.25 billion in revenue eased 0.8%. 

Demand isn't the problem, Chief Financial Officer Matthew Friend said on the company's first quarter earnings call in September.  

Inventory has been the issue thanks to supply-chain issues that caused "congestion."

Analysts at UBS, who have a buy rating and $185 price target on the stock, do not believe Nike will raise its guidance. The company had made a downward revision, due much to that congestion. 

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"On one hand, Vietnam factories likely opened sooner than what Nike assumed in its guidance and favorable pricing trends suggest potential gross margin upside," UBS analysts said in a preview note Friday, according to MarketWatch. 

Earlier this week, analysts at Wells Fargo resumed coverage of Nike with an equal-weight rating and $175 price target. 

"We're intrigued by NKE shares, as we see that the negative supply chain data points are largely behind us, with Vietnam factory shutdowns recovering into early [calendar year 2022] and elongated transit times," Wells Fargo analyst Kate Fitzsimons said. 

Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting the company's revenue to continue to drop for the just concluded second quarter and the next quarter before returning to growth in their fiscal fourth period, which ends in May.

At last check Nike shares were little changed at $162.74.