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Nike clears lowered bar
July 1, 1997: 6:02 p.m. ET

Fourth-quarter earnings hit $155.8 million, or 52 cents per share
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Nike Inc. announced Tuesday that it cleared the bar with earnings of 52 cents per share, but compared with earlier expectations, the bar was lowered significantly.
     After the closing bell on Wall Street, the athletic-wear giant said it made $155.8 million in the fourth quarter, up from $133.7 million, or 45 cents per share, for the year-ago period. Fourth quarter revenues were $2.37 billion, up 28 percent from $1.85 billion last year.
     The Beaverton, Ore.-based company said May 29 that it expected earnings to fall between 51 and 56 cents per share, below the consensus estimate of 69 cents, because of lagging revenue and the shutdown of a manufacturing facility of its Bauer Inc. hockey equipment division. The news caused Nike's shares to plummet 8-5/8 to close at 55-3/8 that day.
     Tuesday trading saw Nike slip 3/8 to 58.
     Despite the muted earnings, Nike chief Philip H. Knight trumpeted the 1997 results as "the greatest performance in our 25-year history."
     "Over the past two years, we have taken the company formerly known as the industry leader in athletic shoes and transformed it into a global brand franchise with an unprecedented level of market leadership," said Knight, the company's chairman and chief executive.
     Nike also reported full-year figures, which saw net income hit a record $795.8 million, or $2.68 per share, up 44 percent.
     Looking at Nike's future, orders for its footwear and apparel scheduled for delivery between June and September topped $4.9 billion, 18 percent higher than for the year-ago period. Back to top
     --Will Morton


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