Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research. This week we explore Under Armour’s (UAA - Free Report) Q4 results and look to the company’s future, which seems highly uncertain amid stiff competition and shifting sports retail trends.
Coming off the company’s dismal third quarter, Under Armour’s North American sales dipped once again during the vital holiday shopping period. The sportswear company also posted a quarterly loss, based largely on impacts from the new Republican tax law as well as its own restructuring plan.
Investors were happy to note that Under Armour grew its international sales and its direct-to-consumer revenues, partially offsetting a big shift in U.S. retail patterns that has seen downturns from Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS - Free Report) , Foot Locker (FL - Free Report) and others.
Nevertheless, Under Armour and CEO Kevin Plank face increased competition from Adidas (ADDYY - Free Report) both domestically and abroad. Meanwhile, Lululemon Athletica (LULU - Free Report) and other smaller North American retailers, as well as footwear firms such as Skechers (SKX - Free Report) , have also made life harder for a brand that many said looked poised to challenge Nike (NKE - Free Report) in the U.S. for years to come.
Looking ahead, Under Armour will begin to focus more heavily on non-performance, athleisure apparel and footwear—which is where the industry is currently trending. As it tries to expand its market share in North America and internationally, the company also needs to grow its presence on social media platforms like Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) , Facebook (FB - Free Report) , and Instagram as online sales become more vital than ever.
Now the question for many investors is simple: can Under Armour claw its way back, or are its days of massive growth simply over?
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