Will This Upgrade Help Nike (NKE) Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nike (NKE) shares were upgraded to "outperform" from "neutral" by Macquarie on Thursday. 

The firm raised the company's price target to $84 from $80.

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Nike shares are up 0.5% to $73.94 in early trading Thursday.

The improved rating is due to Nike's increased sales overseas.

"We initially launched with a Neutral as we were looking for further acceleration abroad to become incrementally more positive on the name. Despite dampened expectations due to FX headwinds with the latest print, we are now seeing very healthy revenue acceleration abroad on a constant FX basis," Macquarie said.

TheStreet Ratings team rates NIKE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NIKE INC (NKE) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 14.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • NKE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.12 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, NKE has a quick ratio of 2.12, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry and the overall market, NIKE INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, this stock has enjoyed a nice rise of 25.59% which was in line with the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NKE should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • NIKE INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, NIKE INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.70 versus $2.42 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.96 versus $2.70).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NKE Ratings Report
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