Does Under Armour Smell?

Posted by: Adrienne Carter on July 10, 2006

Marathon training season is upon me once again. For my poor friends, that means having to suffer through 18 weeks on non-stop chatter about the pain in my Achilles heel, my terrible training schedule (6:30 a.m. on a Saturday is never pleasant), and the inevitability of chaffing.

marathon pic.jpg


Now for those of you who have not had the pleasure of running 26.2 miles, let me just tell it’s not pretty. Lucky I’m a pretty new runner, and in recent years the advances in running clothes have been pretty dramatic. Indeed, I swear by Under Armour gear (UARM)—which has a lovely wicking material that keeps me dry during a four hour run and the chaffing to a minimum. Looking around my training group (a group of 100 or so of us crazy enough to run the Chicago marathon this year), I am not alone in my dedication to the brand. I love their shorts.

shorts.jpg

Going by the Peter Lynch rule of buy what you know, Under Armour could be a great stock pick. And true enough the fundamentals of the company, which IPO’d in late 2005, have been Kenyan style—that is zooming ahead of the pack. Earnings are up from $9.9 million in 2003 to $36 billion at the end of last year. And investors have been happily rewarded; the stock is now around $39, up from as low as $21.

But I wonder: How far can this brand go? Some analysts have called it the next Nike. I’m not so sure. Despite my obsession with Under Armour clothes and willingness to pay a premium for the gear, I wonder how far they can extend the brand. I’m not about to buy my running shoes from them (I’m a New Balance girl), and there’s only so much running gear I need (or at least that I can fit in my drawers). I’ll be interested to see how well these guys can do; I’m rooting for them. But for now, I’m taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to the stock.

Reader Comments

Dave

November 7, 2009 8:31 AM

Having read the above comments...I think you are lucky. My experience with Under Armour has been underwhelming at best. My son's soccer club, Watchung Hill, NJ has gotten the uniforms for the kids and I have never heard so many complaints or seen such poor quality! The required socks are like men's dress socks, the shorts are over their knees - more like basketball shorts, and the shirts are all snagged and pulled. Oh, and we have had them now less than two months. I'm sure there was a reason we went with UA for the uniforms, but it was something other than style, quality, or fit. I HIGHLY recommend skipping UA for uniforms and considering one of the many other choices.

I manage money for several clients, and I too consider Peter Lynch and his philosophy, so I am advising against UA stock, as they seem to be focused more on marketing now. And I am looking over 10Ks and Qs to see if it would be a good short position.

Thank you

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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