March 16, 2020 / 2:12 PM / 21 days ago

Cowen expects Nike's sales fall $3.5 billion for May quarter

(Reuters) - Nike Inc’s (NKE.N) revenue could fall by a third in the fourth quarter, Cowen estimated, as the sportswear giant reels from store closures, supply disruptions and the suspension of this year’s NBA season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: The Nike swoosh logo is pictured on a store in New York City, New York, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The brokerage expects the 34% decline in Nike’s revenue for the quarter to lead to a loss of about 4 cents per share. Analysts currently expect revenue to rise 2.4% to $10.43 billion and profit of 64 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

“Mall traffic may cease in coming weeks and fixed costs and future inventory markdowns create an almost impossible modeling exercise globally,” said John Kernan, who is a five-star rated analyst for the accuracy of his earnings estimates on Nike.

Nike shares fell nearly 16% amid plunging broader markets. The stock has lost a third of its value since the start of the year.

Almost 170,000 people have been infected by the virus globally and millions more have seen their lives turned upside down due to “social distancing” and clamp-downs on gatherings of large groups become the new norm.

Major sporting leagues such as the NBA and the NFL have also suspended their seasons, while companies including Nike, Lululemon Athletica Inc (LULU.O) and Under Armour Inc (UAA.N) have shut stores in North America and other markets in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic.

“There are parallels between the coronavirus impact on Nike and other brands from the cancellation of major sporting events with the impact on travel companies from the U.S. travel ban,” Jonathan Treiber, a retail-industry sales expert and the CEO of marketing platform provider RevTrax.

Meanwhile London-based Woozle Research estimates Nike could be robbed of more than $5.5 billion in revenue over the next three to six months.

The company’s global sales is already estimated to be down 21% between mid-February and March 10, according to about 120 major wholesalers and distributors of Nike products in China, Europe and North America polled by the research firm.

Nike’s revenue last fiscal year totaled about $39.12 billion.

“People don’t want to spend $150 or $200 on a pair of VaporFly Nike trainers right now,” one of the respondents told George Mosley, senior equity analyst at Woozle, which is contracted by firms including hedge fund Citadel and private equity firm KKR to conduct research on companies they are invested in.

Nike’s largest rival, Adidas, said last week it expected first-quarter sales to drop by up to 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in greater China, and overall to fall more than 10%.

Nike, which reports third-quarter results next week, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has already warned of a financial impact to its China business.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta Singh and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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