Nike (NKE) raised eyebrows when it announced that it would report its second-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings at the market’s close on Friday, December 18, 2020. What piqued some investors’ interest isn’t the date, but that the sportswear giant decided to report after the bell on a Friday — something the company and most companies of its size rarely do.
“It’s not typical of them to report on a Friday,” Cowen Equity Research analyst John Kernan told Yahoo Finance.
Kernan chalked the date up to scheduling complexities surrounding the holiday season, especially one that coincides with a pandemic.
“I think it’s just a new management team, a crazy year, and it’s probably when they were able to circle everybody together to do it. I certainly hope there’s nothing to suspect, but it feels like they’re having a great quarter in North America so I wouldn’t read too much into it,” he said.
Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P and Dow Jones Indices, tells Yahoo Finance it’s rare for a company like Nike to report right before the weekend.
“It’s very unusual,” Silverblatt said. “It does make some sense in that you don’t have to worry about the commotion in the market. You’ve got plenty of time for dissemination of information … I mean, outside of Warren Buffett within the index, nobody [reports on weekends]. I mean, the biggest day for the announcement historically over the last like seven, eight years is Thursday, that’s the busiest day.” Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway traditionally reports earnings on Saturday mornings.
Silverblatt notes that since 2016, 22.2% of companies within the indices reported on Thursday, with 13% of those choosing to announce after the market close. In that same four-year period, companies within the indices have only reported on Friday after the bell nine times, Silverblatt said.
UBS analyst Jay Sole is not reading too much into the choice of the day — especially since the consensus is for Nike to post strong Q2 earnings. Like Kernan, he believes it’s merely a scheduling option and reminded Yahoo Finance that the Swoosh brand typically likes to report the week of Christmas.
“This question has come up so much. All I can say is that normally they do their earnings Christmas week. Sometimes if the calendar falls later, it can happen like the Tuesday after Christmas.”
Sole tells Yahoo Finance that those who cover the sportswear space are usually on vacation in the days leading up to Christmas and often have to take time away from their families to cover earnings.
“I think this year, they said, well, let’s try it. Let’s see if we can do it the week before.”
Sole notes that since the quarter ends in November, Nike only had about three weeks to get its earnings together.
“So they’re getting their earnings out basically in less than three weeks, which from an accounting standpoint and an auditing standpoint —they’re working pretty fast. For a big global business like Nike, with inventory all over the world and sales all over the world, they’re pushing it. So I think that’s why they said, well, we’re not going to do it on Thursday because maybe that’s a little bit too much. We don’t want to push our accounting teams too hard. So Friday gives them one more day.”
Silverblatt, however, takes some issue with Nike’s tight turnaround when it comes to its upcoming earnings.
“Let’s buy into that, then why Friday afternoon? If you’re that tight that you can’t do it in the morning? … They can’t be that tight. If they are that tight, then they should not have scheduled it [this week].”
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.