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Nike, Inc.

Case Details

Class Period: March 19, 2021 - March 21, 2024
Date Filed: June 20, 2024
Case Number: 3:24-cv-00974
Jurisdiction: District of Oregon
icon-casetype Case Type: Securities Case
Days Left to
Seek Plaintiff:
34

Case Summary

The Class Period begins on March 19, 2021, in connection with NIKE’s announcement of its financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, and related investor earnings call. In connection with these results, Defendant John J. Donahoe II (the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer) touted that “NIKE continues to deeply connect with consumers all over the world driven by our strong competitive advantages” and that “[o]ur strategy is working, as we accelerate innovation and create the seamless, premium marketplace of the future.” Defendant Matthew Friend (the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer) similarly assured investors that “NIKE’s brand momentum is as strong as ever and we are driving focused growth against our largest opportunities.” On the related investor earnings call, Defendant Donahoe emphasized NIKE’s “tremendous success in digital” and that “NIKE’s digital transformation remains a unique advantage.”

Investors began to learn the truth about NIKE’s inability to generate sustainable revenue growth on June 27, 2022, when the Company announced its fourth quarter and full year 2022 financial results after market close. NIKE announced that quarterly revenues declined 1% year-over-year and quarterly wholesale revenues declined 7% year-over-year. However, Defendant Donahoe reassured investors that NIKE’s “strategy is working” by creating value through its “competitive advantages, including [its] pipeline of innovative product[s] and expanding digital leadership.” He further asserted that NIKE’s investments in digital and other areas prompted Defendants to be “very confident in our long-term strategy and our growth outlook.” On this news, the price of NIKE Class B common stock declined $7.72 per share, or nearly 7%, from a close of $110.50 per share on June 27, 2022, to close at $102.78 per share on June 28, 2022.

Three months later, on September 29, 2022, investors learned more when NIKE reported its first quarter fiscal year 2023 financial earnings after market close. In spite of modest revenue growth, NIKE reported that its net income declined 22% year-over-year and that diluted earnings per share similarly declined 20% year-over-year. NIKE also reported a significant reduction in gross margin (down 220 basis points year-over-year) driven by the disposal of excess inventory—which was 44% higher than in the first quarter of 2022. On this news, the price of NIKE Class B common stock declined $12.21 per share, or nearly 13%, from a close of $95.33 per share on September 29, 2022, to close at $83.12 per share on September 30, 2022.

Notwithstanding the Company’s struggles with NIKE Direct and its direct-to-consumer strategy, Defendants continued to tout the purported strength of NIKE’s business model over the next year, telling investors that NIKE’s “competitive advantages continue to fuel our momentum” and that NIKE is primed to “leverage our competitive advantages to not only gain share but also grow the market.”

On December 21, 2023, however, investors learned more about the competitive pressures facing NIKE when the Company issued its second quarter fiscal year 2024 financial results and held its related investor earnings call after market close. Defendant Friend admitted that NIKE’s “total retail sales across the marketplace fell short of our expectations,” and that NIKE’s digital platforms lost consumer traffic to competitors because of “higher promotional activity across the marketplace.” Given these challenges, Defendant Friend revealed that NIKE was “adjusting [its] channel growth plans for the remainder of the year” and “identifying opportunities across the company to deliver up to $2 billion in cumulative cost savings over the next 3 years.” On this news, the price of NIKE Class B common stock declined $14.49 per share, or nearly 12%, from a close of $122.53 per share on December 21, 2023, to close at $108.04 per share on December 22, 2023.

Finally, on March 21, 2024, NIKE announced its third quarter fiscal year 2024 financial results after market close, revealing a 3% year-over-year decline in revenue in its Europe, Middle East, and Africa segment, a 3% year-over-year decline in NIKE Digital revenue, and scant quarterly revenue growth of approximately 0.4% year-over-year in NIKE Direct. On the related investor earnings call held that same day, Defendant Donahoe admitted that “NIKE is not performing [to its] potential” even though moments earlier he claimed that “Q3 performed in line with our expectations.” Moreover, Defendant Donahoe revealed the Company’s decision to reduce reliance on its direct-to-consumer strategy and “lean in with our wholesale partners to elevate our brand and grow the total marketplace.” According to Defendant Donahoe, NIKE made a “reinvestment with our wholesale partners, so we bring a more holistic offense that grows the market and gets in the path of our consumer.” Furthermore, Defendant Friend revealed that NIKE was “prudently planning for revenue in the first half of the fiscal year [2025] to be down low single digits” as Defendants “shift our product portfolio toward newness and innovation.” On this news, the price of NIKE Class B common stock declined $6.96 per share, or nearly 7%, from a close of $100.82 per share on March 21, 2024, to close at $93.86 per share on March 22, 2024.

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