Under Armour Stock Nears New Highs After Upgrade

Wells Fargo noted the bearish case for UAA has "run out of steam"

by Patrick Martin

Published on Nov 30, 2018 at 10:04 AM

The shares of Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) are up 4.5% to trade at $24.19 this morning, after Wells Fargo upgraded the athleisure retailer to "market perform" from "underperform." The analyst in coverage waxed optimistic on Under Armour's sales and margin targets, while noting the bearish case for UAA has "run out of steam." 

On the charts, Under Armour stock got hit by the broad market sell-off in October. However, the shares bounced off their supportive 320-day moving average in late October, and continued to rally thanks to an upbeat quarterly report. Now, UAA is a chip-shot from its June 7 annual high of $24.69. Overall, the equity boasts a 68% lead in 2018. 

A continued short squeeze could keep the wind at the stock's back. Short interest fell 10.9% in the last two reporting periods to 34.72 million shares, nearly half off its April high. Nevertheless, this still represents 9.2% of UAA's total available float, and almost six days of pent-up buying power, at the average pace of trading. 

And despite the recent flurry of bull notes, there's still plenty of skepticism to be found in the analyst community. Of the 24 brokerages covering the security, 19 rate it a "hold" or worse. What's more, the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $21.54 sits below yesterday's closing price of $23.14. In short, a round of overdue bullish analyst attention could also vault the stock higher in the short term. 

An unwinding of pessimism in the options pits could propel the shares higher, too. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.27 registers in the 91st percentile of its annual range, indicating that near-term options traders are much more put-heavy than usual at the moment.


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