Nike Inc. blew past analyst predictions, netting $8 billion in revenue during its first fiscal quarter. It was a 15 percent increase over 2013.
The Beaverton, Ore.-based company reported that net income climbed to $962 million, or $1.09 in diluted earnings per share. That’s up 23 percent from the same year-ago quarter, when the company reported $779 million, or 86 cents per diluted share.
Analysts had predicted diluted EPS of 88 cents during the first quarter.
Revenue during the three months ended Aug. 31 was $8 billion, compared with $6.97 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had predicted revenue of $7.83 billion.
Executives said some of the key factors in the company’s growth were major sporting events — such as the World Cup — a growing global middle class and athletic trends in apparel and footwear.
“Fiscal year 2014 is off to a strong start,” Nike President and CEO Mark Parker said in a statement. “Our connection to consumers and ability to innovate, combined with our powerful global portfolio, is a complete offense. Nike has never been better-positioned to realize our tremendous growth potential.”
Shoes excelled during the period, growing in each global market. Footwear was the strongest-performing category, with $4.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, an 18 percent increase over 2013. Running continued to be an important focus for the brand, with strong sell-throughs of the Pegasus 31, LunarGlide 6 and Free Flyknit styles.
Internationally, China and Western Europe remained strong markets for the company. In Western Europe, footwear revenues climbed 36 percent over 2013 to $1.1 billion. In China, footwear grew 29 percent to $440 million.
The women’s category was also a key driver in the quarter, reporting double-digit growth. Executives said the women’s market continues to be one of the most important opportunities for the brand. They noted the Nike Free Trainer 4.0 was a best seller, and there was a growing of participation among women in the Nike+ Training Club.
On a call with investors, Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards outlined the strategy for that category. “We’re experiencing tremendous growth online led by Nike.com, and in-store driven by sharper assortments and the continued expansion of the Nike+ Training Club concept to in-line stores,” he said. “And our printed and digital style guides are a key accelerator leading to increased conversion. All told, it is this complete offense that’s driving impressive results for our women’s business.”