UPDATE 3-Brand power helps Nike beat estimates

Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:59pm EST

* Q2 EPS $1.00 vs est $0.97

* Q2 rev $5.73 bln vs est $5.63 bln

* Worldwide futures orders up 13 percent

* Shares up 3 pct after market

By Nivedita Bhattacharjee

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Nike Inc's quarterly results beat Wall Street estimates, as its swoosh logo attracted shoppers, especially in emerging markets, despite higher prices.

Nike shares were up 3 percent at $96.65 in after-market trade on Tuesday, after closing at $93.63 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Worldwide futures orders for the Nike brand, a closely watched measure of demand in coming months, grew 13 percent to $8.9 billion at the end of the quarter.

In Greater China, pre-placed orders scheduled for delivery from December 2011 through April 2012 rose 31 percent, with a 12 percent rise in other emerging markets.

"(Results were) slightly better in every line but you kind of expect that with Nike ...," said Rahul Sharma, managing director of investment management firm Neev Capital.

"What it really highlights is that you can see where the strength in the economy is ... China and other emerging markets are very strong."

In November, closest rival Adidas AG raised its sales outlook on strong demand in emerging markets, and Puma said in October China and Latin America contributed most to overall sales growth.

But for Nike, futures orders rose 16 percent even in the United States, and were up in all other markets except for Japan.

"The brand continues to show very strong demand... the strength is just impressive, helping propel the stock higher," Matt Arnold, consumer discretionary analyst for Edward Jones, said.

The Beaverton, Oregon-based company saw margins drop 260 basis points as costs of labor and raw materials rose, but came in more or less in line with what most analysts had expected.

"Margins were pretty consistent with what we were looking for. Any time you see a brand that is witnessing this type of demand, it gives you confidence that over time pricing will be able to catch up with input costs and labour costs," Arnold said.

For the second quarter ended Nov. 30, the world's biggest sports clothing maker earned $469 million, or $1 a share, compared with $457 million, while analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 97 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 18 percent to $5.73 billion.

Excluding foreign exchange fluctuations, revenue for the Nike brand rose 18 percent. The company, which also owns brands like Converse, Cole Haan, Umbro and Hurley, said revenues from these segments increased 5 percent.

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