Nike Inc. (NKE), the world’s largest sporting-goods maker, advanced as much as 6.8 percent after profit topped analysts’ estimates and it raised a sales forecast amid concern that the global economy is weakening.Nike rose $5.12, or 6 percent, to $89.30 at 10:08 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had fallen 1.5 percent this year through yesterday.Net income in the quarter ended Aug. 31 rose 15 percent to $645 million, or $1.36 a share, from $559 million, or $1.14, a year earlier, the Beaverton, Oregon-based company said yesterday in a statement. Earnings topped the $1.21 a share projected by analysts, the average of 18 estimates. Nike’s profit has surpassed analysts’ projections in 20 of the past 21 quarters.Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker has been trying to overcome rising costs for raw materials and transporting goods by cutting operating expenses. Nike’s gross margin, the percentage of sales left after the cost of goods sold, narrowed by 2.7 percentage points, less than the company’s projection for a 3 percentage point decline.“This is a fantastic quarter,” Camilo Lyon, an analyst for Canaccord Genuity Corp. in New York, said yesterday. “Nike understands how to reach the consumer with relevant product, and this is further evidence of that.”Lyon has a “hold” rating on Nike shares.Revenue this fiscal year will increase in the low- to mid- teen percentage range, Chief Financial Officer Don Blair said yesterday on a conference call with analysts. The company forecast high-single to low-double digits in June.Gross margin for the quarter fell less than forecast as Nike’s direct-to-consumer unit performed better than expected with same-store sales increasing 17 percent, Blair said on the call. Gross margins may narrow as much as 2 percentage points in the second quarter before improving in the second half of the fiscal year, he said.Orders for the Nike brand scheduled for delivery from September to January increased 13 percent, excluding currency fluctuations, according to the statement. That topped the average of six analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg for a gain of 9.8 percent.First-quarter revenue rose 18 percent to $6.08 billion. Analysts projected $5.75 billion, the average of 16 estimates. Sales in North America advanced 16 percent to $2.2 billion. Revenue from Nike brand apparel also gained 16 percent to $1.59 billion, or 30 percent of the brand’s total sales.“They are the 800-pound gorilla in athletic footwear, and if they can become that in apparel, that’s a significant market opportunity for them,” Matt Arnold, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in Des Peres, Missouri, said yesterday in a phone interview. Arnold recommends buying Nike shares.