Struggling athletic apparel company Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) reported one not-as-bad-as-expected quarter, and now everyone is calling for a turnaround in Under Armour stock.
I won’t be jumping on that bandwagon.
This is a troubled brand that is all performance, no lifestyle, and that doesn’t suit it well to match up against increasingly lifestyle oriented brands like Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) and adidas AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:ADDYY). Plus, UAA stock is trading at nearly 100-times this year’s earnings and 60-times next year’s earnings. Those multiples just don’t make sense for even a hyper-growth athletic retail brand, let alone a struggling one.
Overall, I’m not too impressed with the recent bounce in Under Armour stock. The fundamentals are rotten, and the brand isn’t cool. Eventually, the market will figure this out, and UAA stock will drop like a rock.
Two problems plague Under Armour stock. One, the narrative is broken. Two, the stock is hideously valued.
The Under Amour Narrative Failed to Change
First, this is a broken narrative because Under Armour is failing to innovate where its peers are innovating.
Under Armour is a performance brand. They make a killing there. If you go out on any high school football field or basketball court, you will see a fair amount of Under Armour equipment there. Some of the kids will be wearing Under Armour shoes. Others will have Under Armour shirts or shorts. On the field and on the court, Under Armour holds its own.
But athletic retail is changing. Its morphing into something far more than just performance. Just look at this recent Adidas ad to see what I’m talking about. Athletes and musicians and artists are all converging, and together turning these athletic performance brands into athletic lifestyle brands with broad appeal.
Nike and Adidas caught this train. You will see Nike and Adidas clothes everywhere. Not just on the court or on the field. But everywhere else, too. They are fashion brands.
Not so with Under Armour. They missed this train, and as a result, Under Armour stuff is largely left on the field or on the court.
From what I can tell, UAA management isn’t doing anything to jump on the train. Consequently, as Nike and Adidas reinvent themselves at the overlap of performance and fashion, I think Under Armour will continue to fall behind. That will adversely weigh on Under Armour stock.
Hideous Under Amour Stock Valuation
Second, Under Armour stock features a valuation which I just fail to comprehend.
The stock is trading at 100-times this year’s earnings estimate.
For comparison, Nike is trading at 28-times this year’s earnings. Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) is trading at 32-times this year’s earnings. Skechers USA Inc (NYSE:SKX) is trading at 18-times this year’s earnings.
Why would I pay 3- to 6-times as much for Under Armour stock when the narrative underlying that company is fundamentally broken? I wouldn’t. This is a rotten stock.
Bottom Line on UAA Stock
Under Armour is a broken company with a broken valuation.
The recent quarter which everyone got excited about didn’t do anything to fix that. Revenue was up just 5% in the quarter, including continued declines in America. Mark my words. Eventually, today’s red-hot international business will follow in the footsteps of the domestic business, and international revenue growth will turn negative.
At that point, Under Armour stock will collapse.
Until then, I think this is just a ticking time bomb.
As of this writing, Luke Lango was long NKE and SKX.