At North Point Group we believe we have developed the formula for investing success. As you know better than anyone, our Large-cap fund has exceeded all possible expectations in recent years as it outperformed the S&P 500 by 30% with respect to returns in 2000 and has continued the trend into 2001; as of the end of June 2001 it has already produced returns of 6.4% while the S&P 500 has continued to struggle producing a return of -7.3%. We believe these results are made possible by our “workhorses” of the market as we like to call them. For those of you that don’t know these “workhorses” are our holdings in companies that have been there through the history of modern America. These companies are those such as 3M, General Motors, McDonalds, and ExxonMobil, which have gone through the many roller-coaster type rises and falls that defines our nation’s economy and has utilized these experiences to prosper and grow step for step with our nation. We are here today to share and discuss our recent findings in our search for another candidate worthy of investment from our Large-Cap Fund. The company originally named “Blue Ribbon Sports,” now Nike Inc. has caught our attention. Initially known for their athletic performance shoes, Nike has developed itself into a sporting good and apparel monster while maintaining their domination in the athletic shoe sector over the last fifty years. In 1997, Nike reached the top of their game in terms of revenue, when they reported $9 billion in revenues in their annual report; however, since then their revenues have been at a virtual stand-still, hovering around $9 billion for the past five years. Despite their lack of improvement in the last half-decade we see progress in their near future, especially with them already well into the stage of recognizing problem issues within the company. They have realized that one of their major issues is that which made them into what they are today, their athletic shoes. They have maintained a large share of the athletic shoe market throughout their history but they have only just recently noticed that this share is slowly diminishing through time, as it has dropped six percent from 1997 to 2000. After taking a step back and looking at the big picture they realized their error in the recent past, they have placed too much of their focus on producing high-end, high-priced athletic shoes and have forgotten about the mid-priced shoes segment which fueled their growth for decades, and yet still remained the producer of 30% of their revenues. This focus will help bring the Nike brand shoe back into the homes of any American home no matter their income level. Along with their shoes, Nike has other plans to rejuvenate their corporate performance. The biggest of all was the acquisition of top exec, the former president and chief executive of the Polo Jeans division of rival Jones Apparel Group, Mindy Grossman. Nike sought out Ms. Grossman because of her exceptional performance in the clothing industry in hopes that she would take their apparel division to the top; a result which is not far beyond belief when considering the vast resources and influence that Nike already possesses. The hopes within the company are that these tweaks to their corporate approach along with some minor cost cutting adjustments in the company’s operations and administration will drive the company up the incline of revenue growth. With Nike reigniting their pursuit for excellence and fueling this fire by restoring their staple, mid-priced athletic shoes fit for every American, to its glory; it’s easy to believe in the potential of Nike, Inc. and jump on the bandwagon. Even though we believe in the potential of Nike, further financial evaluation is necessary before a decision affecting everyone in this room can be made. We got excited about the prospect of Nike becoming part of our fund not because of the name, and the reputation it carries with it, but because of...
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