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June is my favorite time of year. The weather is nice, work slows down, people I don’t like go on vacation, and three professional sports are in full swing. This is one of those rare years where the Blackhawks aren’t winning the Stanley Cup but there’s a familiar face on the Finals court. Lebron James is back for a 6th time in a row and 7th time overall. Standing between him and his 3rd ring in 7 tries is this guy, Steph Curry.
This is bigger than Steph versus Lebron, Golden State versus Cleveland or west versus east. This is Under Armour (UA) versus Nike (NKE). Two of the biggest brands going head to head at the pinnacle of basketball competition. I’ll admit, I’m partial to Nike. If I was a high schooler in Naperville I’d probably be partial to Under Armour. But here I’m going to use some unbiased, head to head comparisons in order to figure which of these companies ends up the winner.
As far as the Finals series goes, I think we all know Golden State is going to be the winner. They shoot better, move the ball better, and play better defense. We’ll know the real outcome next week after the sweep. UA one, Nike zero.
Now let’s look at the superstars. Steph Curry versus Lebron James. Steph was named MVP for the second straight season after leading the Warriors to a 73-9 mark on the year. Lebron set a personal record for most flops. Getting ready for Space Jam 2 I see. UA two, Nike zero.
What about the shoes? Under Armour released the Curry Two this year in an attempt to attract those basketball show dollars. The Nike Lebron XII came in like 112 different colorways. Some epic and some awful. Comparing the two side to side, it’s a tie, they both lose. UA two, Nike zero.
To the Zacks Rank, both Under Armour and Nike are Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks right now. But there’s a distinction in the Style Scores here. Nike has a Value Score of D but an A in both Growth and Momentum. The edge here goes to Nike. UA two, Nike one.
Now let’s look at the price, consensus and EPS charts for both. This is my favorite analysis tool. I can see the evolution of earnings estimates over time along with the stock’s price reaction. Both stocks have dipped recently as retail has cooled off. Estimates have come down for both companies. However, look at how Nike’s estimates have leveled off as Under Armour continues to drop down. Suddenly that growth premium looks a little expensive. We’re tied up at two a piece now.
So who’s the winner of the NBA Finals here, Under Armour or Nike? Looks like it will have to be played out on the hardwood but if I was a betting man, I’d put my money on the swoosh. Just do it.
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