Nike, Under Armour top racers on Wall Street

By Money Times

Sep 29, 2015 09:22 PM EDT

Shrugging from the recent market crash, Nike and Under Armour stocks have emerged as major gainers on the Wall Street.

Though these two companies are battle to capture higher market share in sportswear and star endorsements, but the athletic apparel makers are racing ahead in improving their financial performance.

Under Armour;s stock rose significantly 50 percent this year so far. The 27 percent year-to-date (YTD) gain in Nike's stock makes it best performer in Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Nike is closely followed by United Health with 13 percent growth. The better than forecasts financial results fuelled Nike shares rose by a whopping nine percent on last Friday.

The shares of both Nike and Under Armour pared early gains in the market. Nike shares on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ended lower 2.26 percent to 122.18. The market capitalization of Nike stands at $106.9bn. Under Armour Inc's stock eased 2.81 percent to 100.80. The market capitalization of the company is at $22.37bn. 

Of late, Nike has been facing market competition from Under Armour and also from Germany's Adidas. However, Nike's sales grew eight percent in North American market. The athletic apparel market is growing strongly and offers huge potential for multiple champs as well.

China's economy slowdown seems to have nothing to do with athletic apparel segment. Nike registered sales volume in China growing at 30 percent. Nike also announced that its future orders are expected to rise as it forecasts the growth rate of 22 percent for next few quarters. 

The golf apparel business is growing strongly across the world. It's estimated that the spending of American golfers on golf apparel to the tune of $1.5bn in the US alone, according to Golf2020. Star sportsmen and women wear and endorse the major brands in athletic apparels industry. 

Under Armour's two star endorsers have been enjoying their career's best phase during the past few years. Golfer Jordan Spieth has bagged two Grand Slam titles-- the Masters and US Open. He was also contender for the Open Championship and PGA Championship.

Speith also won FedEx Cup title as well. Under Armour's home page had a Spieth's photo with a message conveying congratulations.

Under Armour has more presence in the athletic apparel segment targeted for youngsters below 25 years. The top products such as Cold Gear and Heat Gear from Under Armour are posing a major challenge to Nike. Experts analyze that in the future, Under Armour is likely to emerge as a major threat to Nike's long-term value.

Nike's forecast revenue for 2016 is at $32.7bn and Under Armour's revenue projection is at $4.8bn. Nike shares were trading 30 times of earnings estimates for next year and Under Armour's valuation is pegged at 70 times of profit forecast for 2016. Under Armour has been reporting 25 percent growth year-over-year (yoY) for the past eight quarters continuously. 

Nike's missed its forecast last time was in June 2012, according to the data from FactSet Research. Subsequently it's been positing encouraging results for 13 quarters in a row.

Another star endorse for Under Armour is Stephen Curry, the star guard of the Golden State Warriors basketball team. He won 3-point contest at All-Star Weekened . Curry has also extended his contract with Under Armour until 2024 year. 

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