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AAA  Sep. 25, 2013
Nike gets drafted
By ALEX VEIGA
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Wall Street's most exclusive club just got a little sportier.

Nike, the world's largest athletic shoe and apparel company, began trading as part of the Dow Jones industrial average on Monday. And investors will be watching to see how the maker of Air Jordan sneakers impacts the Dow when it reports fiscal first-quarter results Thursday.

The company is expected to earn 78 cents per share on revenue of $6.96 billion for the June-to-August period. Nike earned $1.23 per share on revenue of $6.67 billion in its first quarter a year ago. Its stock split two-for-one in December, which means the company's split-adjusted earnings were about 62 cents a share.

Nike has enjoyed strong earnings and revenue gains this year, despite a fluctuating economy in Europe and a slowdown in growth in China, where it has taken steps to reduce its inventory and adapt to changing consumer tastes.

Nike will be the first of the 30 Dow stocks to report results for the coming earnings season. Even so, it's unlikely to become the new marker for the start of quarterly reporting because the traditional quarter hasn't ended yet, says Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. In years past Alcoa signaled the traditional start of earning season, but the aluminum maker was one of three companies dropped in the recent Dow shake up.

Associated Press
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