Having been a fan of Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) as both a company and an investment for some time now, I was beaming with joy when the company just recently reported a blowout quarter during which it beat nearly every expectation set by the analysts following the company. However, with shares up by about 12% since before the announcement, it is only natural to consider getting out of a position. While it is never a bad idea in a situation like this to take at least some of your position off of the table, in this case I think that Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) is just getting started.
Growing in the right ways
The main reason that I think Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) is still a great long-term growth play is that it is growing in all of the right areas, and not just from the same areas as in the past. While the company is and has been the clear, undisputed leader in “compression-wear,” Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) is growing the areas of its business that until now had been either struggling or non-existent.
For starters, apparel revenues increased by 23%, but the real story is the type of apparel that was responsible for the increases: the Storm and Charged Cotton product lines. Last time I blogged about Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) in January, I mentioned that the company had begun manufacturing cotton performance apparel in 2011, which is a $12 billion market as opposed to the $3 billion market for synthetic performance apparel. The fact that this line is growing at such a rate tells me that Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) has the potential to grab a significant share of his market, which could easily triple their revenues in a few years.
Also, Footwear has been an area where Under Armour has struggled in the past. Possibly the biggest surprise to me in the earnings release was the fact that the company’s footwear revenues soared by 21% from last year’s. NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) is the world leader in athletic footwear, commanding about half of what is estimated to be a $20 billion market. NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) really has no need to feel threatened by Under Armour just yet, as even after the gains, Under Armour’s footwear sales were just $82 million for the quarter, a small fraction of Nike’s.
However, if this trend continues it could have a big impact on the bottom-lines of both companies. For Under Armour, whose annual sales are just over $2 billion annually, capturing a significant share of the athletic footwear market could be what they need to jump to the next level. For Nike, this could eventually become a problem for the company, especially if Under Armour starts capturing some of Nike’s overseas market share, an area in which it has been the clear leader for some time.