(Reuters) -Nike Inc’s quarterly profit and revenue topped Wall Street estimates on Thursday, as Americans stepping out of pandemic-led lockdowns splurged on footwear and apparel, sending the sneaker maker’s shares 4% higher.
After staying at home for more than a year and limiting themselves to leisure-wear and comfortable pajamas, consumers are back to buying sneakers for running and hiking as they return to their routines, thanks to rapid vaccinations.
In Nike (NYSE:NKE)’s biggest market, North America, revenue more than doubled to $5.38 billion and beat the average analysts’ estimate of $4.31 billion.
Total gross margin increased 850 basis points to 45.8% versus last year, boosted in part by the company’s direct to consumer business and fewer charges related to factory cancellations. Analysts expected gross margin of 43.96%, according to Refinitiv.
In China, a fast-growing market for the company, revenue of $1.93 billion missed expectations of $2.22 billion.
Nike and several other apparel companies like Adidas (OTC:ADDYY) and H&M were attacked on Chinese social media in March after internet users found statements the companies had made on the use of forced labor in Xinjiang.
Net income came in at $1.51 billion, or 93 cents per share, for the quarter ended May 31, compared with a loss of $790 million, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier.
Total revenue nearly doubled to $12.34 billion from a year ago, when the pandemic was at its peak. Analysts were expecting revenue of $11.01 billion and earnings of 51 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.