Under Armour Shares Tumble After SEC Wells Notice Receipt Linked to Accounting Probe

Under Armour said the Wells Notices were linked to 'pull forward' sales booked in 2015 and 2016 and targeted chairman Kevin Plank and CFO David Bergman.
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Under Armour  (UAA) - Get Report shares tumbled in pre-market trading Monday after the sportswear group said two of its top executives received 'Wells Notices' from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The notices relate to the accounting treatment of sales booked between the third quarter of 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2016, Under Armour said, and were delivered to executive chairman Kevin Plan and chief financial officer David Bergman.

"Wells Notice is neither a formal charge of wrongdoing nor a final determination that the recipient has violated any law," Under Armour said in a filing with the SEC Monday. "The Wells Notices informed the Company and the Executives that the SEC Staff has made a preliminary determination to recommend that the SEC file an enforcement action against the Company and each of the Executives that would allege certain violations of the federal securities laws."

"The Company and the Executives maintain that their actions were appropriate and intend to pursue the Wells Notice process, which will include the opportunity to respond to the SEC Staff’s position, and also expect to engage in a dialogue with the SEC Staff to work toward a resolution of this matter," Under Armour added. 

Under Armour shares were marked 2.65% lower in early trading to change hands at $9.57 each, extending its year-to-date gain to around 50%. 

Plank, 57, stepped aside as CEO of Under Armour -- a business he founded in 1996 -- in October of last year , just weeks before the group revealed that it was co-operating with investigations from both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The probes followed a Wall Street Journal report that the two agencies were looking into the company's revenue recognition accounting, which it said was used to flatter sales from quarter to quarter.

Under Armour said at the time that its "practices and disclosures were appropriate" and has been responding to requests for documents since July 2017 "relating primarily to its accounting practices and related disclosures."