Investment firm Wells Fargo on Wednesday resumed coverage of athletic-wear maker Under Armour (UA) - Get Under Armour, Inc. Class C Report (UAA) - Get Under Armour, Inc. Class A Report with an overweight rating and a price target of $33 a share, citing strong fundamentals and credited Chief Executive Patrik Frisk for his turnaround strategies.
"We see Under Armour's turnaround story as being on firmer footing headed into 2022, driven by category tailwinds (particularly toward more technical offerings, where UA excels) and company-specific efforts to drive profitable top-line gains," Wells Fargo analysts Kate Fitzsimons, Ike Boruchow and Will Gaertner told investors in a note.
Frisk took over as chief executive of the apparel brand at the end of 2019 after founder Kevin Plank stepped down.
Over the last two years, Frisk has instituted a roughly $525 to 575 million restructuring, yielding a significantly "cleaner" expense base, Fitzsimons said.
Sales of Under Armour had hit a wall in 2017 and the company laid off nearly 300 employees and lost several top executives.
The Baltimore-based company's revenue is expected to rise 7% this year. Wells Fargo estimates earnings before interest and taxes [EBIT], an. indicator of profit, to be 8.4% for 2021.
"UA's Direct business (the best indicator, in our view, of brand health) has comped positively for five consecutive quarters; the company is gaining shelf space," Fitzsimons added.
Last month, the sports apparel brand reported third-quarter earnings that beat expectations and raised its full-year outlook. Net income totaled $113.4 million, or 24 cents a share, up from $38.9 million, or 9 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
The company has also beefed up its marketing investments, "which we expect can yield rewards into 2022 and beyond," the analysts added.
Wells Fargo also noted that UAA has more than $1 billion in cash on the balance sheet which could add to potential merger and acquisition possibilities in digital or artificial intelligence.
"We believe the improving quality of the business in addition to the health of the balance sheet is not being captured in valuation," Fitzsimons added.