The rumors circulated on Wednesday that Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) are working together on a wearables device to take on Nike (NYSE:NKE) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). This interest by both parties will further strengthen a growing category for Under Armour and also dramatically increase the value of MapMyFitness, a company acquired by Under Armour last November.
Samsung has a strong grasp on the wearables market, with an estimated 71% global market share. In September, Samsung launched its Galaxy Gear, which has since been followed up by devices like Galaxy Gear Fit. In the first quarter, Samsung sold 500,000 wearable devices.
Under Armour is most likely interested in a partnership with Samsung to expand its MapMyFitness brand. Back in November, Under Armour paid $150 million in its first acquisition to take over the company that owns brands like MapMyRun, MapMyRide, MapMyWalk, and MapMyHike. At the time, MapMyFitness had 20 million users. In July, MapMyFitness is up to 26 million users. Nike+ has 20 million members.
MapMyFitness has grown since the acquisition. The brand picked up six million more members in seven months. In June, MapMyFitness added four new languages in Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and simplified Chinese. These added languages should boost downloads of the apps and total membership.
Under Armour partnered its MapMyFitness brand with its Armour39 monitoring device. Buyers of the device get a free yearly MVP membership at MapMyFitness, a $29.99 value. This is the first of many partnerships between Under Armour clothing and MapMyFitness.
With Samsung on board, if the rumors are true, MapMyFitness could soon be expanding its brand to clothing, watches, and shoes. Under Armour would win big with a partnership from Samsung and it would vastly help the company compete against Nike. Under Armour is quickly expanding from an apparel company to an all-round sports brand with its expanded entries in footwear and accessories.
In October, Under Armour may see new innovative product ideas come to fruition. Under Armour will host engineers and tech wizards at its Under Armour Future Show Innovation Challenge. Competitors will vie for a $200,000 grand prize. The entries will have to utilize MapMyFitness software in their product. This is a first for Under Armour, which has used the contest to create some great brand ideas. Back in 2011, the winning entry was the UA MagZip, a magnetic zipper that will be used on 400,000 clothing pieces this August. By focusing on MapMyFitness this year, Under Armour should have plenty of clothes and shoes that integrate the acquired fitness tracker's technology.
Samsung currently has a strong hold on the market, but faces anticipated strong competition from Apple. The giant company is set to launch a wearable device in October. Estimates call for the wearables market to hit $6 billion by 2016. Nike and Apple began working together in 2006 with collaborations connecting devices with products like shoes. Nike users were provided data like time, distance, pace, and calories burned, all sent to a device like an iPod.
Under Armour turned in a stellar first quarter recently. The company saw total revenue grow 36% to $642 million. Net income rose 73% to $14 million. Apparel sales increased 33% to $459 million, led by expansion in categories like golf, hunting, training, studio, and basketball. Footwear sales grew 41% to $114 million. Accessories sales increased 43% to $52 million. International sales, which have been a huge source of growth for Under Armour, increased 79% in the first quarter.
In June, Under Armour also saw strong shoe sales growth. Total shoe sales grew 30% for Under Armour, giving the brand a 2.8% market share, the seventh highest in the United States. Nike and Jordan made up 60% share of the shoe market for June. Under Armour continues to see monthly gains in footwear, which is greatly boosting overall sales.
For the full fiscal year, Under Armour expects sales to grow 24 to 25% to a range of $2.88 to $2.91 billion. Second quarter revenue will be announced on July 24th. Yahoo Finance lists the current fiscal year revenue estimate at $2.9 billion, an increase of 25.8%. In fiscal 2015, sales are expected to rise another 22% to $3.6 billion.
Shares of Under Armour are up 32% in 2014 and up 37% since my January 23rd article. The company has a market capitalization of $12.2 billion and trades at rich price to sales and price to earnings ratios. The company is growing annual sales at clips above 20%, but hasn't passed too much profit to the bottom line. I believe shares are worth a look on pullbacks to the $55 level. The partnership with Samsung continues to strengthen the company's entry into wearables and accessories and should also boost margins, with higher ticket items.
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