Under Armour reports earnings gain, beats Wall St. estimates

Under Armour Inc. scored a touchdown Tuesday with its second-quarter profit rising 7 percent, which sent its stock soaring.

Shares in the iconic Baltimore-based sports apparel maker surged 9 percent to $52.79 each in New York Stock Exchange trading after it reported earnings.


New offerings in women's apparel and footwear helped propel a 27 percent leap in sales during the April-to-June quarter, which pushed its income to $6.7 million from $6.2 million a year earlier.

Earnings per share were flat at 6 cents, but analysts had expected earnings of 5 cents a share, according to Zacks Equity Research. Earnings per share reflected a two-for-one stock split, the company's first, which was distributed July 9.


Second-quarter sales were $369 million, up from $291 million in the same three months last year.

Earnings growth came in below the much larger sales increase mostly because Under Armour shifted some marketing expenses into the second quarter, the company said. Marketing expenses ate up 12.6 percent of net revenue, compared with 11.7 percent in last year's second quarter.

Under Armour has been able to build on the success of clothing known for wicking sweat from the body, such as its ColdBlack gear, designed to keep athletes cool in the heat, said Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.

Second-quarter sales were particularly strong in its newly launched women's products such as the Armour Bra and Studio line, which includes women's indoor fitness and training pants and tops. It has begun selling women's apparel in department stores.

"We are growing on multiple fronts," Plank said during a Tuesday morning conference call with analysts.

Plank also cited strong results in children's, golf and other outdoor categories, as well as in footwear.

"The reality is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," he said. "We are still in the early stages of where our brand can go."

The second-quarter results showed strong sales across Under Armour's men's, women's and youth apparel categories. Apparel sales jumped 23 percent to $253 million, compared with $205 million in the second quarter a year ago.


Under Armour continued to make inroads in its footwear category thanks to running shoes introduced this year, including the UA Spine and the Highlight football cleat, which Plank called "iconic," "highly technical" and "game-changing." Plank said the football and baseball cleat business was performing "exceptionally" well.

Second-quarter footwear sales rose 44 percent, to $67 million, the company reported.

"We're not declaring victory. There is very good competition out there," said Plank, citing footwear specifically. But, he added, "there is room for new players."

The Evening Sun

The Evening Sun


Get your evening news in your e-mail inbox. Get all the top news and sports from the

Direct-to-consumer sales, through the Internet or company stores, made up nearly 30 percent of Under Armour's sales and grew 35 percent year-over-year.

For the second half of 2012, Plank said, the company planned to focus on maintaining momentum in the footwear and women's categories.

One analyst noted that the company was becoming more efficient at managing its inventory.


"We were particularly impressed with solid [second-quarter] inventory control," Michael Binetti, an analyst with UBS Investment Research, wrote in a report.

The company said its long-term debt rose to $74 million at the end of the quarter from $37 million as of June 30, 2011, mostly because of the acquisition of its Locust Point corporate headquarters last year.

On Tuesday, Under Armour also raised its annual sales forecast. It now expects to generate $1.8 billion to $1.82 billion, a 22 percent to 24 percent increase over 2011. Earlier it had projected revenue from $1.78 billion to $1.8 billion.