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Analyst: Brazil a big growth opportunity for Nike

NEW YORK (AP) -- Brazil is a big growth opportunity for Nike heading into the World Cup next year and the Olympics in 2016, an analyst said Monday.

Kate McShane of Citi Investment Research said in a client note that the footwear and clothing company also stands to gain from its sponsorship of the Brazil National Football team.

The analyst said that a survey by her firm of independent Nike retailers in Brazil showed that sales rose from the fourth quarter to the first quarter on a high demand for the brand and the diversity of Nike products available.

The Beaverton, Ore., company is scheduled to report its quarterly results in 10 days and to host an investor day in early October.

McShane believes the largest possible risk to Nike in Brazil will be new and aggressive competitors.

"We think Nike will need to keep product on shelves fresh/innovative, continue leveraging sponsorship and step up marketing in response to increasing competition," she wrote.

The analyst has a "Buy" rating and $72 price target on the stock.

Nike Inc.'s stock rose 19 cents to $68.10 in afternoon trading. The shares touched an all-time high of $68.90 on Thursday.