Editor's Note: Below is an excerpt from the Under Armour call invite sent to institutional subscribers this morning. For information on how you can access this call email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time: Today, Tuesday, March 20th at 2PM EDT
Our original invite note is below. One caveat I'll add that's become apparent for me to highlight since my model revision is to be clearly balanced based on what the company COULD do, what its Founder/CEO Kevin Plank WANTS to do, vs what the company SHOULD do. All are very different, and all have separate outcomes for the stock over a TREND and TAIL duration (in other words -- bullish over one could be bearish over another).
To be clear, we'll be taking a firm stance on this one -- but will be crystal clear in vetting both sides of what is an increasingly battleground debate.
The likelihood of Under Armour having one of those gut-wrenching ‘I can’t believe revenue is actually down -10% after such a confident guide’ moments is about as high as any company in retail today.
Our conviction short side is clearly higher given what’s likely to be unhittable numbers. Unlike names like FL, RL, TIF, LB, etc… this one is likely to be violent as opposed to a series of guide downs.
Yes, the company just gave confident guidance, but remember when Plank fired his CFO a month after issuing guidance at the company’s Sept '15 analyst meeting? The guide comes from the top, with targets pushed down to the rank and file – and very little respect for the process (if there is one) that develops the internal financial plan.
... I don’t see how – for the life of me – UAA can grow without major structural change. Planks needs to fire himself, and hire a real CEO. He built something great…one of the best ideas in a generation. But at least Lululemon founder Chip Wilson had the sense to know when his time was up.
We’re hosting a black book today March 20th at 2:00PM EDT to review our full short thesis, including why an activist role might actually work (despite class C shares) after the EV is halved -- again.
* * *