(By Balachander) Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) posted weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings amid drop in gross margins, and its shares tumbled 9.5 percent in extended trading on Thursday.
Earnings were $549 million or $1.17 per share for the fourth quarter, down from $594 million or $1.24 per share in the comparable period of last year.
Revenue rose 12 percent to $6.5 billion, the Beaverton, Oregon-based athletic footwear maker said.
Wall Street analysts expected the company to earn $1.37 a share on revenue growth of 12.90 percent to $6.51 billion.
Gross margins shrank 150 basis points to 42.8 percent from 44.3 percent, due mainly to rise in product costs and higher investments in the company's digital business.
Nike's earnings are seen as a barometer for other international and consumers equities in terms of consumers spending and dollar's impact on earnings.
Excluding the impacts of changes in foreign currency, NIKE Brand revenue rose 14 percent.
As of the end of the quarter, worldwide futures orders for NIKE Brand athletic footwear and apparel, scheduled for delivery from June through November 2012, were 7 percent higher than orders reported for the same period last year, NIKE said.
NKE, which has been trading in the 52-week range between $76.98 and $114.81, ended Thursday's regular trading at $96.89.