The effects of the U.K. leaving the European Union are largely still unknown, and while some analysts say this adds yet another element of uncertainty to the North American apparel industry, other analysts are saying the impact to some companies with meaningful U.K. and eurozone exposure "doesn't appear material."
In a research note Friday, Credit Suisse analysts said the biggest risk to earnings "is the potential demand shock across broader European markets given likely instability in the region over the next nine months."
The "Brexit" concerns come after a difficult quarter for the retail industry, which saw foot traffic fall in malls and e-commerce dominate sales, particularly Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report -- which is a holding in the Growth Seeker portfolio. Additionally, the analysts noted that "20% European currency swings in 2015 negatively impacted earnings for the most exposed companies within the apparel sector."
For Credit Suisse analysts, there are four questions the North American apparel sector faces going forward:
- How much will demand be negatively impacted within the U.K. given Brexit uncertainty?
- What is the potential magnitude for a spillover of demand weakness into the broader European economic zone?
- Where will global currencies stabilize?
- What is the plan of action for companies with European headquarters based in the U.K?
While the analysts said they "do not yet have enough perspective to evaluate the potential answers," they highlighted key analysis regarding U.K. exposure. For companies likeNike (NKE) - Get Report , which has one of the strongest direct exposures, the analysts said total U.K. exposure is "limited," adding that it is generally less than 5% of sales for U.S. "softlines" companies.
Nike has 20 stores in the U.K., which represent 2% of total sales; compared to rival Foot Locker (FL) - Get Report , which has 10 stores that make up 0.3% of total sales, according to Credit Suisse analysts. Foot Locker is a holding in the Trifecta Stocks portfolio.
In a research note Monday, analysts at Jefferies wrote that U.K.'s exit from the union may prompt flight to "safer" pure domestic plays. However, for Nike and Foot Locker, which both have the "greatest exposure" risk, the "impact to both names doesn't appear material." The analysts reiterated their Buy ratings.
While Jefferies maintained their rating, there is competition from overseas: Adidas. The German company has been investing in order to drive a return to market share progress, according to a May 16 note from Citi analysts, and the strategy has been working. A note from Goldman Sachs analysts Monday said the market share is shifting, "with Adidas' Europe business +26% in the quarter," which is well ahead of overall market growth rates.
While Goldman analysts tweaked their Nike valuation because of greater U.S. growth risks, they said "most international markets remain robust." They lowered the price target to $67 from $76 and expected earnings of $2.12 per share for fiscal 2016. Nike is set to report fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Real Money on June 27.