Under Armour shares skyrocket but competition with Nike is still a threat

Under Armour Inc. shares have skyrocketed more than 25% in Tuesday trading, but analysts are sounding an alarm about being too optimistic after the athletic brand reported a decline in North America amid rising competition with Nike Inc. Under Armour
UAA, +27.71%
UA, +24.75%
 reported adjusted earnings per share that soared past consensus, and revenue of $1.44 billion that beat the $1.41 billion FactSet estimate. But North America revenue fell 2% to $1.1 billion. International sales were up 15%, but that represents 24% of total revenue, or $351 million.
“[T]here has been a slowdown in both the athleisure and sports markets, which has affected many retailers and brands,” wrote Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, in a note. Select brands, like Lululemon Athletica Inc.
LULU, +4.60%
 , have defied the trend. But Saunders says “weaker” brands like Under Armour have not. Read: Victoria’s Secret and Gap among the retail brands that have reached peak revenue “Footwear has been a particular area of challenge and here we believe that Under Armour has lost significant market share to Nike
NKE, +3.21%
 , which has been more innovative and focused with its product strategy,” Saunders wrote. Footwear revenue was flat at $285 million, Under Armour Chief Financial Officer David Bergman said on the call, according to a FactSet transcript. CFRA lowered its Under Armour rating to sell from hold, though it raised its 12-month target to $20 from $18. “While we commend Under Armour’s impressive international sales growth and focus on tightening inventory, which decreased 0.6% to $1.2 billion in Q3, much progress in SKU [storekeeping unit] rationalization and reviving the North America segment remains to be made,” the note said. See: This is why Amazon’s revenue-growth slowdown may actually be a good thing With shares up so much, CFRA analyst Camilla Yanushevsky said Under Armour stock is “overvalued at current levels.” Other analysts are more bullish. Cowen raised its price target to $21 from $18, writing in a note that they are “confident” on “gross margin and free cash flow outlook into next year.” And Baird analyst Jonathan Komp is especially optimistic, rating Under Armour stock outperform with a $27 price target and giving the company its Fresh Pick stamp. Don’t miss: Only weak retailers could miss out on consumers ready to spend this holiday season “The results demonstrate Under Armour’s ongoing progress toward becoming a more operationally excellent company,” the note said, with Komp reiterating Baird’s “positive contrarian stance.” Under Armour shares have rallied 58.6% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index
SPX, +1.57%
  has slipped 0.4% for the period.

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