Oppenheimer upgrades Nike for ’embracing the power of digital’

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Nike shoes are displayed at a Nike Store on August 10, 2018 in San Francisco, California. 

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Nike shoes are displayed at a Nike Store on August 10, 2018 in San Francisco, California. 

Oppenheimer raised its rating on Nike shares on Thursday to outperform from perform, saying the sportswear company is enhancing a globally dominant brand by investing in all things digital.

“A technological evolution is underway at Nike, whereby management is embracing the power of digital as a means to enhance most all aspects of Nike’s business model, including consumer connections, product innovation, and manufacturing,” Oppenheimer’s Brian Nagel said in a note. “Investors have still yet to grasp fully the degree to which a now enhanced business model of Nike will help to underpin improved results at the company, near and longer term.”

Nagel also said Nike sales will continue to rebound as “internal initiatives started to take hold” and “the broader athletic group are now through recent woes.”

“Over the next few years, the global sportswear market is expected to expand by an annual mid-single digit rate, with China and Asia-Pacific and Latin America outpacing more mature markets,” Nagel added. “In [fiscal year 2018], international accounted for over 55 percent of Nike brand revenues.”

Oppenheimer has a price target of $90 a share on Nike, 18 percent above Wednesday’s closing price of $76.48 a share. Nike stock fell 0.2 percent in trading Thursday, after rising as much as 0.8 percent before the bell.

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