Nike Finds Its Stride - TheStreet

Nike

(NKE) - Get Report

sprinted past Wall Street's estimates for its third-quarter earnings Thursday, with particular strength coming from sales abroad.

The sneaker giant said its quarterly profits rose 36% to $273.4 million, or $1.01 a share, from $200.3 million, or 74 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Analysts were expecting earnings of 99 cents a share, according to consensus estimates reported by Thomson First Call.

The performance was fueled by sales that rose to $3.31 billion, up from last year's $2.9 billion. Nike said worldwide futures orders for athletic footwear and apparel, scheduled for delivery from March 2005 through July 2005, rose 9.6% to $5.2 billion from the same period last year.

"These consistently strong results were driven by excellent performance across geographies and brands, coupled with favorable trends in foreign-exchange rates," said President and Chief Executive William D. Perez in a statement. "In addition to another strong quarter for our U.S. business, emerging international markets such as China, Russia and Brazil produced significant growth."

Shares of Nike were recently up $1.17, or 1.3%, to $88 in after-hours trading. The stock rose 0.4% during regular trading hours.