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Revenue gains, margin expansion push Nike Q3'19 earnings above Street estimates

Nike Inc. on March 21 reported revenue gains and gross margin expansion during its fiscal third quarter of 2019 that drove the footwear and apparel company's diluted EPS and net income above analysts' estimates for the period.

The Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike posted diluted EPS of 68 cents for the three months ended Feb. 28, compared to a loss of 57 cents per share in the year-ago period driven by what the company said was increased tax expense. Diluted EPS for the quarter beat the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus analyst estimate for GAAP EPS of 64 cents.

Net income came in at $1.10 billion, versus a net loss of $921 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2018, the company reported. Analysts expected Nike to report GAAP net income of $1.03 billion, according to Market Intelligence estimates.

Nike reported revenue of $9.61 billion, up 7% from revenue of $8.98 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2018. Revenue came in just ahead of analysts' expectations for the quarter of $9.60 billion, according to Market Intelligence estimates.

Gross margin for the quarter expanded to 45.1% of revenue, increasing from 43.8% in the year-ago period, Nike said.

During the quarter, Nike repurchased 9.8 million shares for $754 million, completing a four-year, $12 billion share repurchase program that began in November 2015 and starting a new $15 billion program authorized in June 2018, the company said.

Nike shares fell 3.3% in after-hours trading March 21 to $85.13 per share. The company reported earnings after U.S. markets closed.