Under Armour Reports Third Quarter Results (NYSE:UAA) | UA is Humbled, But I’m Hopeful

Source: Under Armour Reports Third Quarter Results (NYSE:UAA)

The long road back to growth is beginning for Under Armour. During the conference call the team mentioned a number of things that haven’t been heard at any report in the history of the brand, they failed. The quote below from WSJ’s   

“Under Armour’s -5% 3Q sales is its 1st quarterly sales decline in its history. Latest grim milestone this yr, since posting 1st losses

establishes that the brand is in uncharted territory. This new ground was always in the cards. UA has always focused on bringing dividends to its shareholders. The process of always growing was a prospect that saw the young footwear and apparel company reach a high of 41/share at one time. Today $UA sits at 12.44 and $UAA sits at 13.58. UAA is the Class A stock and is the oldest class for UA if you’re wondering why there are two classes. UA is the Class C that was created after the split in 2016. It was seen as an opportunity to generate more opportunity for growth. This is the lowest both classes have gone.

A few days ago I shared my predictions for how Q3 would shape up. I did a poor job of estimating the outcome. I focused more heavily on Nike during the previous month. I did predict a decrease in revenue, which anyone could have predicted. What I didn’t think was the brand could see any growth in footwear. They grew sales there 2%. This is very similar to Nike’s revenue growth. When a brand takes on inventory they tend to push sales via DTC and through their own channels which bumps up revenue, but is often undercut by a fall in margins.

The prospects for UA financially are grim, but I see serious opportunity for the brand if they can remain focused on the goal of returning to their performance roots. I realize that footwear and apparel is in a fashion cycle, but it’s always in a fashion cycle. The problem is Under Armour doesn’t really have the legs to run in that race so they shouldn’t. I heard two inspiring things from the conference call, “No more acquisitions, and a focus on performance as fashion.” Those weren’t the exact words, but they are an echo of what the brand is doing. I’ve always made a point to express that the heavy investment in tech was a distraction for Under Armour. I even laid out a timeline for the decrease in marketing of Curry and footwear as it relates to the digital acquisitions in Connected Fitness and the promotion of the products there. There is an almost direct correlation to UA’s decline.

Under Armour Layoffs and Why Connected Fitness Was a Mistake | 2nd Quarter 2017

The one thing that troubles me is UA’s inability to see how their brand is shaped by the amount of product sold via Amazon. During the call a question was asked about the relationship with Amazon. If I’m a shareholder I wanted to hear a more Nike “like” answer that states how Under Armour is remaining present on the platform but the attention will be given to DTC as opposed to continuously building out a relationship with a marketplace that is looking to enter into the market as competition.

If I were an analyst I would tell anyone near me to buy. I think the acknowledgement that UA doesn’t need to acquire anything and needs to focus on its assets to improve a return to full price sales and reigniting passion over the brand is a major plus. More important I feel that UA is nailing down footwear finally. The Curry 4 and Threadborne have been significant. As they begin to introduce new technology in their running shoes and create more attractive performance silhouettes I think people will become more engaged. I see the #Unlikeany campaign as the guide for how to approach marketing. If the brand can overcome quality control and inventory issues, I see a return to the mid 20s and low 30s by Q2 2018.

Use the source link to view the Q3 report from UA.

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Chris Burns
Chris Burns
Founder, Writer and Webmaster at ARCH & CBP

Chris B. is the founder of ARCH.


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  • Hisham

    This is the way I see it: UA is run by a 45-year-old founder who has been at the helm for 21 years. He owns 15.9% of the company and runs it day-to-day. Since going public in 2005, growth in revenue and net income has averaged about 30% per year. Growth has slowed this year and restructuring charges are expected to be $140 to 150 million for the full year.
    Let’s compare the incumbent, Nike: In 1999, Nike revenue declined 8% after eight years of growth at an average rate of 20%. Nike took restructuring charges of $129 million in 1998 and $45 million in 1999. Nike share crashed 65% to a low of $3.34 in March 2000 after reaching a high of $9.47 in February 1997. Sound familiar? Nike shares now trade at around $55. If you bought at the low and held until now, you would have earned a return of 1547% or 17.9% compounded annually, excluding dividends.

    • Fantastic comparison. I think UA grew at a 20% clip each year until now, but you are exactly right in your analysis which is why I’ve said continuously that UA is a buy. I remain bullish even as bad as everyone else is taking the loss. I stated in a previous article that the biggest mistake UA made was to provide dividends each year. When you feed the shareholders in that way you’re setting yourself up for failure in today’s market. If they could have ramped up reinvestment earlier instead of continuously trying to show growth they could have prevented this slide. I remain high on the brand because unlike most sites discussing UA I know there is direct evidence of when and why the brand began to take a hit. It was all self induced. I never expected the shares to fall to 11.00, but had you written this last week I would have had a precedent to draw on. Thanks for the dope commentary as always and the attention to detail!!!!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsE6KL2gNQg&t=14s

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