It hasn't been a great year for Nike Inc. (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. Class B Report , as concerns over the sneaker industry continue to swirl and as e-commerce pressures the broader retail sector. However, its 5.5% year-to-date gain is far better than the dismal performance of Under Armour (UAA) - Get Under Armour, Inc. Class A Report (UA) - Get Under Armour, Inc. Class C Report , which is down more than 40%.
A new report from Bernstein analysts say to buy Nike and sell Under Armour, which drew a "holy cow," from TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer, who also manages the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio.
Speaking on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment Tuesday, he extrapolated on the note, saying the analysts assigned an outperform rating on Nike to go along with a $69 price target, while also assigning an underperform rating on UAA stock and a $14 price target. The price targets imply about 30% upside for NKE stock and roughly 20% downside for UAA.
"Don't mess with Mark Parker, the CEO of Nike," Cramer said, adding that "he's quietly the most competitive person in business." While Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is no slouch when it comes to competitiveness, Cramer reasons that his company has fallen behind.
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"Nike has turned on the scientific jets," he said, calling it a "technology company in the shoe business." While the overall retail sector is undergoing massive change, Nike has found ways to innovate and personalize its products to keep customers interested.
It's hard to believe, but Under Armour feels dated, Cramer explained. The Nike beast has been awoken, he concluded.
Watch: The Problem with Under Armour's Stephen Curry Sneakers: If You Have One, You Have Them All
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in any companies mentioned.