Under Armour's (UA) first quarter unmistakably was not as red-hot as in the past, but it was generally better than Wall Street had feared.
On Thursday, Under Armour reported that revenue rose 7% to $1.1 billion in the three months ended March 31, in line with Wall Street's expectations. The company reported a first quarter net loss of 1 cent a share, compared to a loss of 4 cents a share analysts anticipated.
Shares of Under Armour rose 9.94% to $21.67 on Thursday.
Investors have good reason to be less enthusiastic about the quarter than at first blush, however.
First, sales in Under Armour's largest market of North America fell 1% as it continued to deal with tepid consumer spending and sports chain bankruptcies from last year. Secondarily, sales in Under Armour's once hot footwear business, led by Stephen Curry basketball sneakers, continued to slow dramatically. Sales of footwear rose a meager 2% from the prior year, slowing from a 36% growth rate in the fourth quarter and a 42% increase in the third quarter of last year. In the year ago first quarter, footwear sales surged 64%.
On a conference call with analysts, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank acknowledged "sluggish" sales of the current iteration of Curry basketball sneakers. "Results have been softer than we expected," Plank said, adding that Under Armour is now working through excess inventory.
For the full year, Under Armour said it expects revenue to grow 11% to 12%, reaching $5.4 billion.
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