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Beating Low Expectations Isn’t Enough for Under Armour

Expectations for

Under Armour


UAA 7.13%

have been dismal. So buyers shouldn’t give the Baltimore-based sports wear maker an excessive amount of credit score for exceeding them.

The grim outlook was once set remaining quarter when Under Armour reported its first quarterly gross sales decline since going public in 2005 and reduced its steerage for fiscal yr 2017. Shares tumbled. But after reporting income on Tuesday morning, they climbed 18%, recouping that loss.

That doesn’t imply all is easily in Baltimore.

Total income within the fourth quarter climbed four.6% to $1.37 billion, beating estimates of $1.31 billion, because of a surge in world markets. Sales in a foreign country jumped 47%, representing 23% of overall gross sales for the quarter.

Yet Under Armour’s home marketplace remains to be bothered. Sales in North America have been down four.five% from the similar duration remaining yr, and the corporate reported a lack of $88 million, or 20 cents a proportion, when compared with a benefit of $103 million, or 23 cents according to proportion, remaining yr. That was once even with a powerful vacation season for the corporate: attire gross sales have been up 2.five% and sneakers up nine.five%.

Last yr was once “a reset for our business and our brand as we try to operate as a bigger company,” Chief Executive

Kevin Plank

instructed analysts.

The corporate expects further restructuring fees of $110 million to $130 million via 2018, however says it is going to save $75 million every year beginning in 2019. On a choice with analysts, Mr. Plank stated gross sales enlargement in a foreign country will proceed to offset weak spot within the corporate’s home marketplace.

Yet Adidas,

Lululemon
,

and

Nike

also are aggressively chasing world shoppers. The latter has stated it aiming for income of $50 billion through 2020, with world gross sales accounting for 75% of enlargement. And, as

Simon Siegel,

a retail analyst at Nomura Securities issues out, Nike has a a ways more potent world emblem than Under Armour.

The larger downside is Under Armour’s valuation, which is greater than two times as pricey as Nike’s. Exceeding low expectancies is admirable, however someday buyers will hang the corporate to the next same old.

Write to Elizabeth Winkler at elizabeth.winkler@wsj.com

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