Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) has been considered a down and out stock for so long now that it’s just hard for the company to get any traction, even with good news. The company’s latest earnings report may have seemed bad compared to its major growth days, and a charge against operations for a restructuring seems quite premature for this former high-flyer.
Separately, 24/7 Wall St. has covered the fourth-quarter Under Armour earnings report in detail.
But even after 24/7 Wall St. named Kevin Plank among the worst CEOs of 2017, he is trying to rekindle the path of his company. Now the stock has popped after three months of being in the doghouse.
Numerous analysts have been tracked raising their price targets. Most of the ratings will seem quite muted, but investors need to understand that analysts felt burned for so long defending this company on the way down that they are going to be very reluctant to tell their clients to buy the shares. That being said, sometimes bottoms in stocks that have a history of disappointments see major recoveries in their shares, even when the overall news might still not seem all that great or all that certain.
24/7 Wall St has tracked numerous analyst reports on Under Armour. We have also featured some of the more cautious reports in an effort to keep this balanced. That’s important, considering that Under Armour went from a company that could do no wrong to one that could do nothing right.
Wedbush Securities was one of the firms sticking with a very cautious theme here. It has a Neutral rating and a $14 price target. According to Wedbush:
Under Armour posted a fourth quarter sales beat on a conservative guide but issued a less bad than feared outlook that has its share of risks. In the fourth quarter, sales beat the conservative guide and gross margin was also better than expected. While the 2018 outlook was better than some feared, we see risk to its achievability in that it is pinned on improvement in the second half, amidst intenser competition and without a strong product offering to match. While encouraged that management addressed some of the topics in our recent deep dive report (including speed, SKU rationalization, etc), we await further evidence that the company is on track to inflect in North America and return to profitable growth.
Merrill Lynch maintained its Underperform rating and its $10 price target. The firm’s investment thesis says:
We believe international growth is not enough to offset top-line challenges, particularly in North America apparel. We see downside to Under Armour’s P/E multiple while revenue and earnings growth remain under pressure.
CFRA (S&P) also lowered its negative Sell rating to an even worse Strong Sell, with an $11 price target. Its report detailed:
Under Armour guided for low-single digit revenue growth in 2018 with international strength offset by a mid-single digit decline in North America (76% of sales). After a $129 million restructuring charge in 2017, Under Armour guided for an additional $110-$130 million charge in 2018 with benefits towards SGA savings arising in 2019. Inventories were up 26% despite a weaker sales outlook.
A few other analysts weighed in on Under Armour as well:
- Canaccord Genuity has had a Sell rating since its downgrade at the start of last November, but the firm raised its target price to $9 from $8.
- Citigroup still has a Neutral rating but raised its target price to $17 from $15.
- Deutsche Bank has a Hold rating but now has raised its price target to $13 from $12.
- JPMorgan has a Neutral rating but raised its $10 target to $13.
- Pivotal Research has a Hold rating but raised its price target from $14 to $16.
- Stifel has a Hold rating but raised its target price from $17 to $18.
- Telsey Advisory Group’s Market Perform rating comes with a price target raised to $15 from $13.
Shares of Under Armour were last seen up 4% at $17.43 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $13.92 and a 52-week range of $11.40 to $23.46.