Better Buy: Nike (NKE) vs. Adidas (ADDYY)

Shutterstock photo

Shares of Adidas ADDYY soared over 9% Thursday after the German sportswear company reported strong second-quarter results, boosted by e-commerce expansion and growth in North America and China. But rival Nike NKE also thrived in its most recent quarter. So let's take a look at which sportswear stock looks like the better buy at the moment.


Adidas saw its quarterly revenues jumped 10% on a currency neutral basis-up 4% in euro terms-to 5.26 billion euros ($6.1 billion). The firm posted quarterly net profit of 396 million euros ($459.6 million), up from 158 million euros in the previous-year period. More importantly, North American sales jumped roughly 16% to 1.08 billion euros, while revenues in Greater China surged 27%.

Furthermore, Adidas brand revenues jumped 12%, boosted by growth in the firm's training, running, and football (soccer) units. Investors should also note that the firm's direct-to-consumer sales climbed at a double-digit rate, with e-commerce sales up 26%, outpacing Adidas' single-digit wholesale expansion. "With these results, we remain firmly on track to achieve our set targets for the full year 2018 and long term until 2020," Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said in a statement.

Clearly, Adidas had a strong quarter of growth in two of the largest markets in the world. Plus, the company's direct-to-consumer sales will be a key part of its expansion going forward.


But let's not forget that Adidas' Oregon-based competitor posted strong fiscal Q4 results in late June. Nike's quarterly revenues climbed by 13% to hit $9.79 billion. Nike also saw its North American sales pop 3% to hit $3.88 billion, after three straight quarters of declines.

Nike's sales in Greater China skyrocketed 35% to $1.47 billion, with Jordan Brand up nearly 50%. Investors should note that Nike's growth in Europe and China outpaced Adidas. Nike also said on its earnings call that Nike Direct drove over 90% of its growth for the year, with digital sales up 41% in Q4.

Nike, like Under Armour UAA and other sports retailers, has concentrated on e-commerce sales as the likes of Foot Locker FL and Dick's Sporting Goods DKS continue to decline. Nike's digital push includes initiatives such as the SNKRS app and its NikePlus memberships, as well as partnerships with Amazon AMZN , Chinese e-commerce power JD.Com JD , and even Facebook's FB Messenger app.

Price Movement

Heading into Thursday, Nike stock had outpaced ADDYY over the last five years, up roughly 144% compared to Adidas' 115%. However, over the last three years, shares of Adidas have skyrocketed nearly 200%, while Nike rose just 40%.

The race between the two sports apparel powers is neck and neck over the last 24 months, but Nike has crushed ADDYY over the last year. Furthermore, Nike shares hit a brand new 52-week and all-time high Thursday.


Moving on, Nike stock is currently trading at 29.8X forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimates, which marks a significant premium compared to Adidas' 21.2X and its industry's 22.1X. NKE has traded as low as 21X over the last year, with a one-year median of 25.6X. The U.S. firm is currently trading at not only its one-year but also its five-year high, which means that its valuation picture appears stretched at the moment.

Meanwhile, Adidas has traded as high as 28.3X over the last year and as low as 20.5X, with a one-year median of 23.5X. Therefore, Adidas is currently trading near its year-long low, and clearly offers better value than NKE.


Looking ahead, NKE is projected to see its quarterly revenues pop by over 8.5% to hit $9.85 billion, based on our current Zacks Consensus Estimate. In fiscal 2019, Nike's revenues are expected to climb by 7.8% to $39.25 billion. Meanwhile, Nike's quarterly earnings are expected to jump by 7%, while its full-year EPS figure is projected to pop by 7.8%.

Adidas is projected to see its full-year revenues climb 8.4% to $26.24 billion, while its fiscal 2018 earnings are expected to surge nearly 20%.

Bottom Line

The Nike and Adidas rivalry is as strong as ever, even as the likes of Puma and athleisure firm Lululemon LULU expand. Nike and Adidas are both currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks, though Adidas' rank could change based on Thursday's results.

Investors can clearly see that both companies are positioned well for the future, and are poised to grow in key regions in the right ways. Still, at this moment, it seems that Adidas might take the edge over Nike based on its valuation and stronger earnings growth outlook.

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report

JD.com, Inc. (JD): Free Stock Analysis Report

Facebook, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report

Foot Locker, Inc. (FL): Free Stock Analysis Report

lululemon athletica inc. (LULU): Free Stock Analysis Report

DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS): Free Stock Analysis Report

NIKE, Inc. (NKE): Free Stock Analysis Report

Adidas AG (ADDYY): Free Stock Analysis Report

Under Armour, Inc. (UAA): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

More Related Articles

Sign up for Smart Investing to get the latest news, strategies and tips to help you invest smarter.