NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Nike (NKE) - Get Report were higher in late-afternoon trading on Thursday as Baird analysts said they expect the sportswear retailer to report "relatively in-line" results for the fiscal 2017 first quarter.
Nike is expected to post first quarter earnings after Tuesday's market close.
The firm said it's received "significant pushback" to its positive stance on Nike, due to increased competition from Adidas (ADDYY). While Adidas may pose a short-term headwind, the firm noted that Nike remains on track to achieve full-year targets.
"We anticipate a relatively in-line FQ1 and reiteration of full-year targets, though we acknowledge Nike may not give an 'all-clear' signal relative to several near-term controversies (concerns about competitive threats, signature basketball trends)," the firm said in an analyst note, according to Barron's.
Baird noted that it's confident the Beaverton, OR-based company remains strong in other categories, possesses a clean inventory and should see easier compares as fiscal 2017 progresses.
The stock's current valuation is the lowest since 2014, a negative sentiment that "overstates" the shorter-term risks to the story, Baird added.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
TheStreet Ratings team rates Nike as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. This is driven by multiple strengths, which it believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks it covers. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. The team feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: