Nike Plunges After Slashing Its Outlook and Announcing Cost Cuts as Demand Softens

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Key Takeaways

  • Nike shares plunged as the athletic apparel retailer cut its full-year revenue forecast, citing softness in demand, especially overseas.
  • Nike pointed to increased macroeconomic headwinds impacting sales.
  • The company also plans to cut $2 billion in costs over the next three years.

Nike (NKE) was the worst-performing stock in the Dow and S&P 500 as shares tumbled over 10% in intraday trading Friday after the athletic apparel retailer slashed its full-year outlook because of “softer” sales in the second half. It also announced plans to reduce costs, which could include layoffs.

The company now expects fiscal 2024 revenue to increase approximately 1%, down from its earlier forecast of rising by a mid-single-digit percentage.

CFO Matt Friend explained that the new guidance reflected “increased macro economic headwinds,” particularly in Greater China and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He added Nike adjusted growth plans based on recent digital softness and higher marketplace promotions, life cycle management of key product franchises, and a stronger U.S. dollar.

Friend added that the company plans to cut $2 billion in costs over the next three years, noting that savings would come from across the business, not just from selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses. He said some examples would include “simplifying our product assortment, improving supply chain efficiency, leveraging our scale to lower the marginal cost of operations, increasing automation and speed from data and technology, streamlining our organizational structure, reducing management layers, and enhancing our procurement capabilities.”

Friend indicated that restructuring would result in a $400 million to $450 million charge in the second half, “primarily related to severance costs which will be recognized largely in the third quarter.”

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In its fiscal second quarter, Nike posted a profit of $1.03 per share, beating estimates. Revenue was up 1% from a year ago to $13.4 billion, in line with expectations.

Nike shares were down 10.6% at $109.56 per share as of about 11:30 a.m. ET Friday following the news, and were in negative territory for the year.

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