Under Armour’s comeback continues.
The Baltimore-based company seemed to be setting a new tone after last year’s embarrassing revelations that executives were allowed to expense strip club visits. Since January, company shares have been up 26 percent.
J.P. Morgan analyst Matthew Boss described Under Armour as moving forward with “controlled confidence.” The firm anticipates a 6 percent revenue growth over the next three years, lead by new products, faster distribution and marketing efforts.
Boss also pointed out strong points, like Under Armour’s inventory, which was down more than 24 percent year-over-year at the end of 2019’s first quarter, and next year’s marketing campaign — “Light the Brand on Fire in 2020” — the company’s first cohesive “brand-focused” campaign since 2001. Previous campaigns concentrated on individual products rather than the company as a whole.
Other signs of strength include the retailer’s plans to open more stores. That includes four full-priced stores in the second half of 2019, along with 10 to 15 stores in 2020 and a flagship along New York’s busy Fifth Avenue in 2021. “Roughly doubling the company’s full-price North America brick-and-mortar base by [fiscal year] 2021,” Boss wrote.
This is a stark contrast from last December’s Analyst Day, Under Armour’s first in three years, when chief executive officer Kevin Plank did little to address investors’ fears over the strip-club controversy. The stock fell 8.9 percent after the event.
Even so, Boss set a new price target for December 2020 of $29, up from December 2019’s price target of $23.
“Under Armour’s [gross margins] continue to surprise on the upside,” wrote Cowen and Co. analyst John Kernan in a separate note.