Nike (NKE) , the iconic sportswear maker, has faced a lot of flak recently, prompting some observers to question the stock's future.
Shares of the leading sportswear brand are down close to 20% year to date, almost the same as rival Under Armour, which has faced growing pains. By contrast, Adidas has had a good run this year, rising by 54%.
Nike has lost market share to these two companies and to others.
However, Nike is a smart value play. The company remains among the world's most recognized consumer brands. It has an enviable track record of generating revenue and profits and maintaining solid cash-flow growth. Moreover, it has demonstrated a repeated ability to anticipate and meet consumer tastes. Case in point are its entry into high fashion and use of environmentally conscious materials and manufacturing methods. Start buying the stock on dips as it enters the oversold territory.
Yet Nike's products sometimes suffer from cyclicality, and analysts have had some concerns about it recently.
The recent negativity surrounding the company has been chiefly due to a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch downgrade, which predicted an erosion of market share to rivals, including Under Armour.