Troubles Continue for Nike Inc (NKE)

Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) stock lagged the market this year as concerns over bloated inventory levels, increasing competition and a softening U.S. retail environment have weighed on NKE stock.

While Nike may not get back to its winning ways anytime soon, Goldman Sachs analyst Lindsay Mann says the stock has limited downside while Nike works through its short-term issues.

Nike has dominated the athletic footwear market for years, but heightened competition from rival Adidas has slowed the Nike growth story. Cowen & Company estimates that Nike actually lost market share to Adidas in the first half of 2017. In addition to tougher competition, Nike’s brick-and-mortar athletic apparel retailers are struggling. Gander Mountain and Sports Authority are just two of the names on a growing list of sporting goods retailer bankruptcies.

Finally, Mann says there are signs of weakness in Nike’s international business, which accounts for roughly half of its total sales.

All things considered, Nike shares have held up fairly well. In the past year, Foot Locker (FL) and Dicks Sporting Goods (DKS) shares are each down more than 50 percent. Under Armour (UAUAA) stock is also down 46 percent in that time. Nike stock is up 2.8 percent.

Mann says Nike investors should expect the stock to continue its choppy ways in the near term. Retail weakness has created bloated inventories, and it will take time to clear those inventories, even at discounted prices.

In the meantime, Mann says it is unlikely Nike will be able to meet its lofty growth targets, a reality that will likely become clear at the company’s investor day event on Wednesday.

“Next week’s investor day is an opportunity for management to lower its multiyear growth targets, which look stretched in the face of industry headwinds,” Mann says.

Goldman isn’t expecting the guidance cuts to take the market by surprise, but Mann says the investor day event will likely not be a positive catalyst for NKE stock.

“We expect…

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