By Corey Paul
Nike's fiscal second-quarter earnings increased 22%, exceeding analyst expectations of Oregon's largest company.
Revenues hit $4.8 billion for the quarter and $10 billion for the fiscal year to date. Worldwide future orders rose 11%, to 7.7 billion. Contained in those future orders figures is the best picture of the Nike retail pipeline, which benefited most from growth in its largest market of North America, China and emerging countries such as Brazil. Sales in all its regions rose except in Wesern Europe and Japan.
"We had a great second quarter," said president and chief executive Mark Parker. "Almost every brand, category and geography delivered growth."
That's growth to the tune of $457 million dollars, or 94 cents per share, for the quarter ending Nov. 30. It compares to $375 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.
Parker mentioned a two-fold strength of the athletic-apparel giant, brand strength and product design, which enabled the company to sell more items at full price. Gross margin rose from 44.5% to 45.3%
In a conference call Tuesday, Parker and other executives warned of rising freight, labor, oil and cotton costs that pressure results. Executives expect those high costs to continue for some time before leveling out, but Nike is also expanding its reach to emerging markets such as the smaller-but-still-huge cities in China.
Nike has also focused more on subsidiary brands that grew a collective 13% and include Converse (selling well in China), Hurley and Umbro.
Nike also recently closed an exclusive partnership with the National Football League for 2012, beating out Reebok.
On Monday, Nike's stock price reached $92.46, their highest level in history.
Update: Nike is hiring. The company's website this Wednesday morning lists 145 openings in Oregon. Among them are openings for production artists, merchants, tax managers and designers.