What a difference a quarter makes.
After taking a beating on Wall Street earlier this year because of concerns that higher input costs would eat into its profit margins, Nike Inc.'s fourth-quarter and full-year fiscal 2011 results topped analysts' estimates, sending its stock soaring.
Nike reported fourth-quarter revenues of $5.8 billion, up 11% on a currency-neutral basis, and full-year revenues of $20.9 billion, up 10%.
The Beaverton, Ore.-based manufacturer of athletic footwear noted in its earnings release yesterday that "higher revenues and SG&A-expense leverage more than offset a lower gross-margin rate."
"In fiscal year 2011, we delivered exceptional results in extraordinary times," said Mark Parker, Nike president and CEO. "Our business is organized to drive growth across multiple brands, geographies and categories, as we manage through the ever-changing macroeconomic landscape."
Parker added: "The global appetite for sports has never been stronger."
Nike said its diluted earnings per share for both the quarter ($1.24, up 17%) and full year ($4.39, up 14%) hit record highs.
As of the end of the quarter, Nike's futures orders scheduled for delivery from June through November totaled $10.3 billion, 15% higher than orders reported for the same period last year.
Future orders excluding currency changes were up 23% in emerging markets, and 17% in Greater China, according to the shoemaker.