Brutal.

Shares of Foot Locker, Inc. (FL) are getting hit hard Friday, falling 12.7% to $40.04.

It doesn't help that the broader markets are also under pressure. Despite the company's fourth-quarter earnings per share beat, revenue and comparable-store sales came in below expectations. That's a big no-no in the world of retail.

There's at least one bull out there for Foot Locker, though. Susquehanna's Sam Poser points out that a bulk of the company's weakness came from overseas. Inventories still look good and Poser has a $70 price target on Foot Locker, implying more than 80% upside.

The outlook wasn't all that promising, either. Management said it expects flat to slightly higher comp-store sales in 2018 and a boost in gross margins. However, that's dependent on a second-half recovery, as the first half of fiscal 2018 should continue showing some weakness. 

The impact isn't just hitting Foot Locker, though.

Shares of Nike Inc.  (NKE)  bounced from the lows, but still fell 0.35% to $65.89, while Under Armour Inc.  (UA) (UAA)  reversed its early losses and actually surged 5.84%. Despite Foot Locker's product lineup consisting mostly of shoes, these two stocks are trading better than many would have anticipated.

Finish Line Inc (FINL)  wasn't doing well at one point either, falling about 10%. However, shares staged an impressive comeback, ending Friday at $10.36, down just 0.67%.

So what's the verdict? Many regard Foot Locker as the better company when compared to Finish Line. But Foot Locker management basically told us that this year might only be decent on the assumption that the second-half of 2018 is good.

Worth noting is that both retailers are seeing their stocks get hammered. Maybe investors should just stick with the actual athletic apparel companies instead. Nike is set to report earnings on March 22, but a number of analysts were turning cautiously optimistic after its previous quarterly report in December.

The three most-recent price targets signal notable upside in Nike stock, too, with Buckingham analysts using a $75 price target, Stifel having an $80 price target (the highest on Wall Street) and Citi analysts ascribing a $78 price target.

For those who want to play Under Armour stock, many are starting to believe the turnaround is taking hold.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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