Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) is about to sprint higher. Consumer-facing markets, like athletic apparel makers are benefiting from a strengthening U.S. economy. Both Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) and Nike (NYSE:NKE) have already reaped rewards from that strength in their quarterly reports. Next month, UAA stock will follow suit.
If you didn’t follow the Federal Reserve’s post-rate-hike commentary on Tuesday, let’s take a brief look. The Fed raised rates by a quarter point, as expected. It also forecast another hike in December and three more for next year. The Fed also lifted its economic growth forecast for the rest of the year and 2019. That spells more spending and more growth for consumer products companies like Under Armour.
Click to Enlarge For UAA stock, this comes at an opportune time. The company is in the midst of cutting overhead costs, recently conducting its second round of layoffs. Rising costs and tightening margins are one of the reasons Nike was dinged following its last quarterly report. By addressing these concerns now, Under Armour is getting out ahead of the game.
What’s more, there are more than a few consumers that don’t agree with Nike’s latest choice for spokesperson.
The backlash probably won’t hurt Nike’s bottom line due to the influx of millennial shoppers. However, it will likely provide some lift for Under Armour. UAA has emerged as an alternative for many of those disaffected Nike customers.
Finally, all of this is playing out right now in UAA stock’s technical backdrop. The shares had spent the better part of the past four months retreating from their post-Stephen-Curry highs. It was an orderly retreat, but a pullback nonetheless. That retreat ended last week when UAA stock bounced off support at its 200-day moving average.
What’s more, the recent rally has pushed UAA stock back above its 50-day trendline and out of the descending trend channel that plagued it since July. With the holiday shopping season coming, and earnings just around the corner, UAA stock is in the early innings of another solid uptrend.
Speaking of earnings, Under Armour stock will report third-quarter results in late October — the date isn’t officially set yet. Currently, analysts are projecting a profit of 12 cents per share on revenue of $1.42 billion. Under Armour stock has matched or beaten expectations in each of the past four quarters. This quarter is shaping up to come in better than expected, leading to rally fuel for UAA stock.
On the sentiment front, there is plenty of room for improvement. According to Thomson/First Call, just four of the 33 analysts following Under Armour stock rate the shares a “buy” or better. The 12-month consensus price target comes in at $19.14 — a discount to yesterday’s close. In other words, there is a high likelihood that UAA stock could be upgraded or receive a price target boost and economic conditions improve — and especially heading into earnings.
Turning to the options pits, November options are pricing in a potential move of about 15% for UAA stock heading into expiration. I’m looking at November options because this gives us the best exposure to Under Armour’s late October quarterly report without having to guess the actual date. As for implied volatility, that puts the potential upper bound at $24.30 and the lower bound near $18.
2 Trades for UAA Stock
Call Spread: Traders looking to profit from the current breakout rally on UAA stock (and take advantage of any post-earnings reaction) might want to consider a Nov $22.50/$25 bull call spread. At last check, this spread was offered at 59 cents, or $59 per pair of contracts. Breakeven lies at $23.09, while a maximum profit of $1.91, or $191 per pair of contracts — a potential return of 223% — is possible if UAA stock closes at or above $25 when November options expire.
Put Sell: If you’re looking for a more conservative play on UAA stock, then a Nov $15 put sell might be a way to capitalize on technical support. At last check, this put was bid at 21 cents, or $21 per contract. As always, you keep the premium received as long as Under Armour stock closes above $15 when November options expire. The downside is that should UAA stock trade below $15 ahead of expiration, you could be assigned 100 shares for each sold put at a cost of $15 per share.
As of this writing, Joseph Hargett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.