After a horrible start to the year for Under Armour shareholders, a top Wall Street firm says there is no turnaround in sight for the sports apparel company.
Deutsche Bank lowered its rating for Under Armour shares to sell from neutral, citing the increasing product discounting at retail stores.
Under Armour shares fell 2.7 percent in the premarket session Tuesday after the report.
“We are downgrading UAA … as a difficult and promotional selling environment along with segmentation challenges dim our confidence in UAA’s NT [near term] view, with ongoing changes in consumer preference and increased innovation from larger peers impacting our LT growth outlook,” analyst Paul Trussell wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. “With margin dilutive investments necessary to drive growth … EPS upside is limited, in our view, and we therefore question the expensive valuation of this challenged growth story.”
Under Armour shares have fallen 30 percent year to date through Monday compared to the S&P 500’s 10 percent return. Most of the decline this year occurred after the company gave weaker-than-expected 2017 sales guidance in its fourth-quarter earnings report on Jan. 31.
The analyst reiterated his $17 price target for Under Armour shares, representing 16 percent downside from Monday’s close.
Trussell cited Hibbett Sports second quarter sales and profit warning Monday. The sporting goods retailer preannounced a comparable sales decline of 10 percent versus the negative 2 percent consensus expectations. The analyst noted how Under Armour historically represented 16.5 percent of Hibbett’s sales.
“In our view, a return to consistent double-digit growth in apparel & footwear is required to support the stock from current levels,” he wrote. “We believe the company is falling short on drivers, however, as the segmentation strategy to date has been fumbled.”
Under Armour did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company will report second quarter earnings results on August 1.
The stock now has six sell ratings on it, according to FactSet, and only seven buy ratings, quite a bearish skew for a large cap company.
— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this story.
Under Armour's terrible year may get worse as Deutsche Bank predicts more than 15 percent decline