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As Under Armour Collapses, CEO Builds Elitist Hotel & Whiskey Distillery

Earlier, we reported on Under Armour’s epic stock collapse down over -75% from its September 2015 highs. This is one stock Central Bankers forgot to buy. Today’s stock crash -15% is being felt across Baltimore once again, city streets are eerily calm, as the latest round of millennials who ‘bought the dip’ called in sick this morning. Something tells us, the avocado and toast breakfast will be sadly missed by many….

Bloomberg sums up today’s terrible earnings report blamed on ‘shortfall on operational disruptions from a recent technology systems transition’, and also provides a dismal macro outlook for the company.

Even international’s 34% constant currency growth represents “significant deceleration” from 2Q’s 54% growth, Nikic writes in note.

Gross margin (GM) continue to come under pressure (down 130bps y/y in 3Q), and 4Q forecast implies even worse margin erosion: GM implied down 350-400bps, which would be 4th straight year 4Q GM declined >150bps, would result in 1,000bps of cumulative erosion since 4Q13.  

  UAA business continues to come under pressure due to macro headwinds, off-trend product assortment (focus on technical/performance rather than casual/lifestyle), internal operational issues warranting underperform rating. 

In terms of trades, Kevin Plank (CEO) appears to be a genius - selling stock at highs. Form 4s concludes, he’s sold over $145 million worth of paper even during the stock collapse.

Immediately, Kevin Plank - through his full-service real estate firm called Sagamore Development Company - embarked on the construction of his whiskey distillery nestled in Baltimore’s inner harbor.

At the point of construction in 2H15, the stock crashed -20% to -30%. Fast forward to April 2017, Plank in a need of a drink opened his whiskey distillery, as the stock crashed another -50%.

Plank, a smart guy, knew the only way to comfort shareholders was to offer them a bottle of good American whiskey to soothe the pain of Under Armour’s stock crash.

This is by far, a much better class act of distractions when compared to Elon Musk’s circus act

Simultaneously, Plank built an elitist only hotel in Baltimore’s Fells Point district called Sagamore Pendry.

The two year, $60 million dollar project was also constructed around the time of the whiskey distillery.

According to Kayak.com, the 128-room property sits on the historic recreation pier in Fells Point with rooms starting at +$335. Interesting to note, a majority of Americans don’t even have $500.00 in savings, so a one night stay at Plank’s hotel does not welcome middle America.

JPM’s Wealth Inequality desk outlines that nearly 1/3 of households of color have a net worth of zero in Baltimore. Considering total population is around 620k, that means over 100k African Americans in the city are flat broke. This gives you a perspective of Baltimore’s economic disparities as Plank builds fancy things.

Nevertheless, Plank’s Sagamore Farm, valued $18-$20 million just 25 minutes north of the city is another example of the lavish lifestyle Kevin Plank is manufacturing at the expense of Under Armour shareholders.

And one more thing, Plank’s $5.5 billion dollar ‘city with-in a city’ for elites was in danger of failing this year. Goldman Sachs came in with a hockey stick save for $233 million back in September to rescue the project when the stock was 20% higher. With the latest tumble in the stock along with re-imaging plans for the company through layoffs and cost cuts. The idea of such a project is farfetched.

Bottomline:

Kevin Plank’s actions over the past few years will certainly go down in the record books of what not to do in a stock market bubble. It’s only a matter of time when the overwhelmingly poor citizens of Baltimore wake up to the wide wealth inequalities produced by easy money policies of the Federal Reserve.

Nevertheless, the city is currently spiraling out of control with a homicide rate doubled of Chicago’s, along with an opioid crisis that is straining resources of the tax payers and city hall.