Shares of Baltimore-based athletic apparel and footwear maker Under Armour Inc. (UAA) have rebounded 11.3% so far in the new year after struggling through a rough 2017. In response to the rally, one team of bears on the Street has told clients not to buy into the comeback as the company is expected to stay highly promotional and struggle to revive its sales in 2018.

Last year, UAA stock saw a 50% dip in value as the company failed to ward off heightened competition from players including the world’s largest athletic apparel company, Nike Inc. (NKE), and revived German rival Adidas AG (ADDYY). Amid the retail apocalypse, analysts warned on Under Armour’s deteriorating brand image, pricing power and long-term margin profile as it signed new deals with discount retailers, including Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) and DSW Inc. (DSW).  

Struggling in New Retail Landscape

On Friday, UAA dipped on a downbeat research note from analysts at CFRA, who cut their rating on shares of the athleisure company to sell from hold. CFRA analyst Victor Ahluwalia reiterated his $11 price target based on Under Armour’s discounted cash flow. He sees the stock losing almost a third of its value over the next 12 months. 

Ahluwalia lifted his 2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimate by $0.01 to $0.20, while cutting his 2018 EPS estimate by $0.02. 

“UAA stock has moved back to pre-Q3 earnings levels since we changed our previous rating to a hold from a sell. There has been no meaningful change in fundamentals except benefits from the tax reform that are reflected in our updated estimates. We expect further dismal sales performance in Q4 and note that UAA was the most promotional among peers during the 2017 holiday season,” wrote the CFRA analyst. (See also: Under Armour to Fall Despite Rebrand: Susquehanna.)

 

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