Analysts remained upbeat about Nike Inc.'s outlook early Thursday even after the athletic apparel and footwear maker reported weaker-than-expected orders.
Late Wednesday, Nike reported that its profit dropped in its fiscal third quarter due to an after-tax charge of $240.7 million to reflect the deteriorating value of its investment in the soccer brand Umbro PLC.
The company also said that orders for products to be delivered through the spring and summer were 10 percent lower than in the same quarter last year. Excluding changes in currency, orders were down 2 percent.
Citi Investment Research analyst Kate McShane maintained a "Buy" rating on the stock, and said any decline in the stock price on Thursday could offer investors a buying opportunity.
"Even though futures were weaker than expected Nike's major brands (Nike, Jordan, and Converse) continue to take market share at the expense of key competitors in the U.S. and Europe, which has offset weakness from the macro environment," McShane said. "As such, we expect Nike to be well positioned to emerge from current macro challenges as an even stronger player.
The analyst noted that she was encouraged by Nike's momentum in the basketball segment, which reported a double-digit surge in orders.
Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Jim Duffy was also optimistic in a note to investors.
"While futures were shy of expectations, fears of a more dramatic fall-off (due to destocking, order cancellations, collapse of emerging markets) have been dispelled suggesting Nike continues to outpace both the market and the competition," he wrote late Wednesday.
Nike shares fell $1.23, or 2.7 percent, to $44.69 in Thursday premarket trading.