) endured declines in quarterly earnings last year, but it's now
back on a growth track.
The sports apparel giant delivered a 20% gain in EPS for its
fiscal third quarter. That's up from a 12% increase in Q2 and a
nice comeback from declines of 5% to 9% in the two prior
On an annual basis, analysts expect Nike to boost EPS by 11%
in the current fiscal year ending in May. This would give the
Beaverton, Ore., firm its 15th straight year with an EPS
Given those steady profit results, it's no surprise that Nike
can claim three-year and five-year EPS Stability Factors of 3,
near the best-possible grade of 0. That consistency should
hearten investors who count on Nike's dividend, which provides an
annual yield of 1.4%.
Analysts at Credit Suisse praised Nike's Q3 report, which came
out March 21 after the market's close. They wrote that Nike looks
to be returning to its target of achieving high single-digit
top-line growth and teens EPS growth.
Over the past two quarters, Nike has seen an increase in the
number of U.S. mutual and hedge funds that own its shares, though
the total stake eased.
On the downside, Nike's industry group -- Apparel-Shoes &
Related Manufacturing -- has ranked in the middle of the pack
lately among IBD's 197 groups.
generally should focus on the top 20 or 40 groups.
In terms of chart action, Nike hit an all-time high March 22
after its Q3 report and remains near that level. During that
session, it cleared a nearly yearlong cup-with-handle pattern
with a buy point at 56. Volume was 395% above average. The stock
has been trading near the upper limit of a buying range
established by that 56 entry.