Analysts remain bullish on Nike’s direct-to-consumer strategy and brand momentum, even after the sportswear giant’s disappointing earnings results. Nike shares fell 3% in the premarket. The company missed profit expectations for the first time in three years due to lower margins. However, Nike beat sales estimates. In its fiscal fourth quarter, Nike reported earnings per share of 66 cents, which fell short of the 67 cents expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv. Still, its revenue of $12.83 billion beat expectations of $12.59 billion. NKE 1D mountain Nike stock 1-day Despite the setback, Goldman Sachs’ Kate McShane maintained her buy rating on the stock and actually raised her 12-month price target, leaving the results with a “constructive view” intact. Its price target of $145 represents a 27% increase from Thursday’s close. “While near-term growth and margins are more than our expectations on the timing of wholesale shipments/liquidation sales/transitional headwinds/SG&A investments, we believe this quarter continued to provide several key pieces of evidence for the bull case,” McShane wrote Thursday. . The case includes Nike’s “robust” direct-to-consumer strategy, inventory improvements, overcoming some transition costs and continued innovation in key segments including running shoes. JPMorgan’s Matthew Boss also remained overweight. He cited Nike’s better-than-expected revenue, improved inventory, as well as no change in the brand’s momentum in its direct-to-consumer strategy. “Importantly, Q4 2023 inventory was flat year-over-year, below Q3 +16% and below +5% sales growth (and forward mid-single digits) for the first time in 6 quarters, with CFO Friend saying “healthy market” foundation for “sustainable, profitable growth” in FY24 and beyond — consistent with our 6/28 4Q Preview fieldwork,” Boss wrote. Boss lowered its price target to $142 from $146. This new target represents a 25% increase from Thursday’s close. Bank of America’s Lorraine Hutchinson, on the other hand, maintained a neutral rating on Nike and lowered her price target, saying the stock faces a more challenging macro environment. “[We] I think the valuation fairly reflects the prospect of an improving margin outlook balanced by an uncertain demand environment in North America,” Hutchinson told clients in a note on Friday. “We are reducing our F24E EPS by $0.09 to $3.71 to reflect softer sales expectations and longer GM. recovery outlook; we are lowering our PO to $125, now based on 34x F24E P/E (35.5x previous) to reflect a more challenging macro backdrop.” Its $125 price target, down from $135, is just 10% above Tuesday’s close. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.