Under Armour Q4 Beats Street

Under Armour Inc. ended the year with a slam dunk, as basketball sales helped buoy total revenue.

Blowing past analysts’ estimates, the Baltimore, Md.-based firm earned a fourth-quarter net income of $22.9 million, 50 percent more than the $15.2 million earned in the corresponding quarter a year ago. Earnings per share were 44 cents, up 47 percent on 30 cents last year.

For the period ended Dec. 31, 2010, Under Armour’s net revenue surged 36 percent to $301.2 million, from $222.2 million.

Analysts were looking for 37 cents on revenue of $274.5 million, as polled by Yahoo Finance.

Footwear revenues in the fourth quarter more than doubled to $21.9 million, from $8.7 million, primarily due to the introduction of basketball shoes and growth in baseball cleats, the company said in a statement. Apparel revenues increased 32 percent to $254 million, from $192.1 million.

Direct-to-consumer revenues grew 56 percent and represented a third of the firm’s total net revenue for the quarter, the firm added.

Kevin Plank, chairman and CEO of Under Armour, said in a statement that the company will “carry this momentum forward by broadening our consumer reach and delivering innovative product.”

For full-year 2010, the company’s net sales increased 24 percent to $1.1 billion, from $856.4 million, while EPS rose 46 percent to $1.34, from 92 cents.

Under Armour now expects total sales for 2011 to be in the range of $1.33 billion to $1.35 billion, representing growth of 25 percent to 27 percent over 2010.

“Opportunities remain abundant both domestically and across the globe. We [continue] to build our long-term footwear and global platforms,” said Plank.

Jim Duffy, analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, wrote in a research note that the company’s “execution in footwear will be the key to driving upside to guidance in 2011.” He added, “Strong direct-to-consumer sales growth driven by additional Factory House outlet stores continues to drive top-line and margin strength.”

Under Armour ended 2010 with no significant long-term debt, and cash and cash equivalents of $203.9 million, a 9 percent increase from $187.3 million as of Dec. 31, 2009.

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