As shares of American sportswear manufacturer Under Armour Inc. (UAA) plummet, analysts either advise investors to see the stock at a bargain or warn on its imminent downside. Trading down about 2% at a price of $17.98 per share Tuesday afternoon, the athletic apparel and footwear company’s stock has fallen more than 57% in the past year.
UAA stock's downward spiral paralleled a series of events -- including weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings, heightened competition, and noted reputational risk from CEO Kevin Plank’s past pro-Trump comments -- leading to a wave of analyst downgrades and price target cuts. Despite the overall bearishness, Barron’s remains upbeat on Under Armour in the long-term. (See also: Can Under Armour Make a Comeback?)
Bulls: ‘So Many Markets Left to Fully Tap’
“Whatever Under Armour’s challenges it is likely to grow sales at a double-digit clip for years to come, versus a single-digit one for Nike, simply because Under Armour has so many markets left to fully tap.”
Barron’s’ analyst Jack Hough indicated that “contrarians who buy the stock here could make 30% or more in year.” Hough pointed to Nike Inc.’s (NKE) similar decline 30 years ago, suggesting Under Armour will bounce back in the same fashion and produce “stellar gains for long-term holders.” However, the analyst says Under Armour will have to “step nimbly if it is to bypass the slow road to recovery.”
FBR Joins Growing Team of UAA Bears
Under Armour bulls, as seen in Barron’s, still remain few and far between. This week, UAA received a new downgrade from FBR analyst Susan Anderson.
“We are downgrading UAA to underperform given recent checks, proprietary surveys, unfavorable trends, and our apparel/footwear analysis pointing to continued sales/margin pressure. Our checks show a price war is intensifying between Nike and UA after UA’s entrance into Kohl’s [Corp. (KSS)], which is causing NKE to defend its turf.”
Anderson highlighted Under Armour’s North American inventory issues, lack of relative innovation and a decline in consumer resonance as posing a threat to its footwear segment growth in 2017. The FBR analyst also slashed 2017 EPS guidance from $0.47 to $0.37 and reduced her price target from $20 to $14, at 35x the firm’s 2018 EPS estimate.
“Check back at the end of the year to find out who got it right,” urged Barron’s.