Under Armour's stock is soaring after the rapidly expanding athletic wear company reported another quarter of blowout sales.
The Baltimore-based company said sales rose 34% in the second quarter to $610 million, while net income was largely unchanged at $18 million. It raised its forecast for the year to as much as $3 billion in sales, noting strong growth in its footwear, international, and women's businesses. (To put that in context, Lululemon's most recent annual sales were $1.59 billion, while Nike's were $27.8 billion.)
Under Armour, founded by a former University of Maryland football player, took care to emphasize the progress it's made recently in its women's business, a major focal point in the past year. The company made headlines by hiring Misty Copeland, a star soloist with the American Ballet Theater, as a spokeswoman in January. Jezebel dubbed the ads "fierce" and "awe-inspiring," while Businessweek noted her "presence dials down the company's macho, 'protect this house' culture."
Indeed, Under Armour said its upcoming marketing campaign, which begins next week, will be its biggest yet around the roughly $500 million women's brand. Copeland will star in the first television spot as part of the campaign, Under Armour Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank said in an earnings call today.
"This is back to school, this is the middle of football season, sweating and soccer's breaking, and all your fall sports, and Under Armour, big, tough Under Armour, decided to launch a women's campaign with a ballerina no less," Plank said. "And it's absolutely no accident, and something we exclusively, knowingly did, because we think this is the best use of our time and resources."
He said he believes women's business can grow to be as big, or bigger, than the men's business in the future.
"The story of how Misty wheeled her way to this position of the dance community is compelling and 100% reflective of our brand DNA," Plank said. "Her athleticism is overwhelming and will communicate that in a fully integrated way including an online presence markedly different from what we've done in the past."