NEW YORK (AP) — Nike could shed light on whether its performance in China is improving and if its women's and basketball categories continue to show strong growth when it reports quarterly results after the market closes on Thursday. The athletic gear maker is expected to report lower net income on higher revenue in its fiscal second quarter. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Nike has been on a growth spurt in North America lately, with strength in its basketball business and the Nike brand, but it has been dealing with a slowdown in growth in China . Investors will be looking for an update if these trends are continuing. Nike has said that key growth areas include China , women's sports and e-commerce. In addition, Nike may outline plans for upcoming major sporting events including the World Cup and Olympics in 2014. Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Svezia said he expects strength in running, basketball and lifestyle categories across North America , Western Europe and emerging markets will drive growth in the quarter. He added that he believes Nike is gaining market share against rival Adidas in countries like the U.K. and Germany , as distribution expands and the company introduces products like Nike Free shoes in those areas. "With the World Cup approaching in June, we believe these gains can continue," he said. WHY IT MATTERS: Nike's results offer some insight into challenges facing the retail industry and also provide a glimpse into how much consumers worldwide are willing to spend, which is key to the global economic recovery. WHAT'S EXPECTED: For the third quarter, analysts expect the Beaverton, Ore. -based company to report earnings of 58 cents per share on revenue of $6.44 billion , according to FactSet. LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: A year ago, Nike earned $1.14 per share on revenue of $5.96 billion .
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