Updated from 2:04 p.m. EDT.

Athletic apparelmaker Under Armour ( UA) beat first-quarter expectations, benefiting from the launch of new running shoes.

Shares of the company were up 13% to $24.44 in afternoon trading.

The company, known for fabrics that draw sweat away from the body, said profit grew 38% to $4 million, or 8 cents a share, from $2.9 million, or 6 cents, last year. Analysts expected earnings of 3 cents a share.

In an effort to expand their product offerings and compete with rival Nike ( NKE), Under Armour rolled out running shoes earlier this year.

Sales received a 27% boost to $200 million. Footwear revenue shot up to $56.9 million from $16.6 million, driven by demand for the new running shoe, as well as the non-cleated Performance Training shoe launched last year. Last week Under Armour announced a partnership with baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.

The company, like most apparel retailers, remains cautious going forward, but did not provide forecast.

While Under Armour's earnings were strong, Jim Cramer today said he would purchase shares of Nike instead, citing that company's brand recognition, product innovation and strong balance sheet.

Last week Columbia Sportswear ( COLM) said it expects 2009 sales to decline by a percentage in the low double-digits and as a result was downgraded to negative from neutral by a Susquehanna Financial Group analyst.
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

If you liked this article you might like

Closing Bell: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

Closing Bell: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

Haters Have an Incredible New Chance to Send the Bull Market in Stocks Crashing

Haters Have an Incredible New Chance to Send the Bull Market in Stocks Crashing

The Long-Awaited Stock Market Correction Is Lurking

The Long-Awaited Stock Market Correction Is Lurking

Cramer: The Stock Market Had Three Sessions

Cramer: The Stock Market Had Three Sessions

Amazon Won't Be Only Retailer Alive in 5 Years

Amazon Won't Be Only Retailer Alive in 5 Years