Nike (NKE), the world’s largest sports gear company, is gradually morphing into something else. “I think of Nike just as much as a tech company as they are an apparel company,” observes Christine Short of Estimize, who expects to hear more progress on partnerships, including one with Apple (AAPL), when Nike reports earnings Thursday. “They are really just re-positioning themselves to move into the space of wearable technology and smart apparel.”
Earlier this month, Nike expanded its global partnerships with companies including Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) and TomTom (TOM2.AS) to offer runners more ways to map their progress using technology. On Thursday analysts are eager to hear how, if at all, Nike works itself into Apple Watch.
Any positive news on wearable technology would likely compliment what is expected to be a strong 3Q ‘15 for the company. Wall Street analysts are expecting profits of $0.85 cents a share, an 11.8% jump from the year ago period, while revenues are expected to increase 9.5% to $7.63 billion, according to Yahoo Finance. Another bullish sign for Nike is Footlocker (FL). About 50% of its products come from Nike and its stock is hovering near a record after better than expected fourth quarter results.
Related: Estimize.com data on Nike
The stronger U.S. dollar could be a potential wild card for Nike, the stock is little changed year-to-date. However, Short notes the company is able to hedge more efficiently than other multinationals, “If you have a well managed company you can hedge against the stronger dollar.”
Nike is set to report quarterly results on Thursday at 4:15pm ET, followed by a 5pm ET conference call.