Nike shares close lower on Monday, company to close stores in a number of markets due to COVID-19 illness

Nike Inc (NKE) said during the weekend that it would shut down stores in the United States and elsewhere, joining global retailers such as Lululemon Athletica Inc, Under Armour Inc, Urban Outfitters Inc and others in a move aimed to restrain the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 respiratory illness.

Nike shares closed lower for the seventh time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Monday. The stock went down 11.63% ($8.79) to $66.79, after touching an intraday low at $63.38, or a price level not seen since April 2nd 2018 ($63.21).

Shares of Nike Inc have retreated 34.02% so far in 2020 compared with a 26.14% loss for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Nike Inc’s stock went up 36.65%, thus, it outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

Nike’s stores in Australia and New Zealand, Canada and Western Europe will remain closed between March 16th and March 27th, the company said. At the same time, its stores in Japan, South Korea, most of China and in other markets will continue to operate normally.

“We are taking additional steps in other Nike-managed facilities, including the option to work from home,” the athletic apparel company said in a statement, cited by Reuters.

Earlier in March, Nike’s European headquarters in the Netherlands was temporarily closed, after one of its workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 31 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Nike Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $110.00, with a high estimate of $150.00 and a low estimate of $72.00. The median estimate represents a 64.70% upside compared to the closing price of $66.79 on March 16th.

The same media also reported that at least 20 out of 32 surveyed investment analysts had rated Nike Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 7 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.

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