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Cooling Consumer Demand for Athletic Shoes Shrinks Nike's Profit
Americans just are not sneaker mad like they used to be, and no amount of priming and pumping the advertising spigot by Nike can make it otherwise.
The world's largest shoe manufacturer warned yesterday that it would miss earnings forecasts this year and next.
The company blamed a sharp reduction in retail square footage devoted to athletic footwear in the United States as well as unfavorable currency exchange rates with Europe for the disappointment. But industry analysts acknowledged that those issues were symptoms of a larger problem: static demand for the products the company has to offer.
''Everything that is going on tells you that it is a mature industry and it went beyond itself in terms of supplying demand,'' said Margaret Mager, an apparel and footwear analyst with Goldman, Sachs.
Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., said earnings for nike roshe run baratas mujer the fiscal year ending May 31 would be slightly less than the $2.08 a share expected by analysts polled by First Call/ Thomson Financial. The company also said next year's earnings would grow by less than the 20 percent analysts had expected.
Investors pummeled the stock, causing it to plunge $8.25, or 18 percent, to $37. Of the 19 analysts who track the stock and who report their recommendations to First Call, 9 had strong buy nike roshe baratas online recommendations on the stock before yesterday and three more had rated the stock a buy.
Nike's problems with shoe stores have been real. In the last several weeks alone two of the nation's largest athletic shoe chains, the Venator Group, owner of the Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker chains, and Just For Feet Inc. have closed what could amount to hundreds of stores. Altogether, retail space for athletic footwear dropped 15 percent last year and is expected to continue to shrink, analysts said.
''There is still an abundance of retail space out there for athletic footwear,'' said Jim Severyn, vice president for athletic leisure at Kurt Salmon Associates, a retail consulting firm.
But in many ways the brand is a victim of its own early successes and optimism that it could repeat them. For much of the 1980's and 1990's Nike was on fire. The company benefited as athletic shoes became a hot fashion statement that could be worn with jeans and suits alike. Then the company expanded as it took market share away from other brands.
Nike's stunning success lulled itself and vendors into thinking that the growth could continue to soar, even as the total market was cooling. Between 1995 and 1999 athletic shoe sales in the United States grew from $6.8 billion to $7.1 billion, or less than 1 percent, according to Goldman, Sachs.
''This industry has been more mature for longer than the industry itself recognized, and that's what is causing the problems now,'' Ms. Mager of Goldman, Sachs said.
Nike has not been alone in suffering from nike free 4.0 flyknit American consumers' new love affair with alternative footwear like rugged boots and lug soled shoes. Reebok and Adidas have also had rough going. But Nike, which accounts for some 45 percent of the domestic athletic shoe market, and which gets 61 percent of its revenue from athletic shoes, cannot help but be affected by consumers' relative indifference to owning another pair of sneakers.
The company finally got a jolt when the Asian financial crises combined with slowing domestic sales. Nike's total sales dropped from $9.6 billion in fiscal 1998 to $8.8 billion in fiscal nike free 5.0 flyknit 1999. This year the company has posted solid earnings growth, but that uptick nike free run 3 5.0 has not protected it from the market's wrath because total sales for fiscal 2000, ending on May 31, are expected to be about $9.1 billion, below 1998's level.
Susan zapatillas nike roshe run baratas Silverstein, a footwear and apparel analyst with Bank of America Securities said the stock was pummeled so hard yesterday because nike free run baratas at a meeting with analysts management offered, ''no peg or strategy for new growth.''
That could be bad news for America's favorite value investor, Warren E. Buffett. According to data made public by Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway investment company, which has special permission to delay public reporting of certain stock purchases and sales, the company loaded up on Nike's stock in early 1998, when the roshe run nike baratas stock price averaged $43. Berkshire Hathaway owned 7.79 million shares at the time of the report.