Nike Inc. (NKE) owns perhaps the world most successful sports brand, with the company's recognizable Nike swoosh seemingly emblazoned on TV screens on the shoes, jerseys and shorts of players in sports ranging from football to basketball to tennis. So it seems startling that Nike's stock is by far the worst performer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) as the index nears the 20,000 mark.

According to data compiled by Pension Partners, Nike’s shares are down 17.5% so far this year. To highlight just how terrible that performance is: the next-worst performer on the Dow is Coca-Cola Co. (KO), which is unchanged for 2016.

Leaders of the Dow’s advance include heavy machinery maker Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) and petroleum giant Chevron Corp. (CVX), along with financial services leaders Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM). All these stocks are up strongly this year, ranging from 43.2% to 34.4%.

Nike's Hurdles Ahead

Investors have cause to worry about Nike and it's why they largely shrugged when the company announced earnings on December 20 that beat analysts’ projections. A large part of the reason, as reported by Barron’s, was that wholesale orders for the next six months will be flat versus the same time last year. Additionally, footwear sales grew only 5% worldwide and 3% in the U.S. this year, adding to pessimism about the company’s near-term outlook.

While smaller rivals Adidas AG and Under Armour Inc. (UA) each have sales less than 25% the size of Nike’s, they both are growing rapidly in Nike’s home turf, North America, where Nike’s sales are flat. Moreover, while Nike continues to emphasize high tech, high performance and high priced footwear, Adidas in particular has been making a stronger play for the wider market for everyday wear, according to Fortune. (See also: Why Adidas Has Been Beating Nike and Under Armour.)

Will the Stock Jump?

According to Credit Suisse Group (CS) analyst Christian Buss, as quoted by Barron’s, Nike has maintained healthy profit margins. He sees a rebound in price to $60 per share, up 17.6% from its current level of about $51, as a possibility. However, the strengthening U.S. dollar means that overseas sales will decline in dollar value, depressing earnings.

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