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Morgan Stanley downgrades Under Armour after CEO departure, says confidence in turnaround is waning

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A leadership change at Under Armour is another blow to investors hoping for a turnaround, according to Morgan Stanley. CEO Patrik Frisk announced Wednesday that he will be stepping down , effective June 1. Shares were down 5% in premarket trading. Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger responded by downgrading Under Armour to equal weight from overweight, saying that Frisk’s decision “signals a potential lack of confidence” in the company’s rebound plan. “Today’s CEO departure announcement, on top of pre-Covid performance challenges & last quarter’s miss & FY guide below, impairs our confidence in the turnaround,” Greenberger wrote. Under Armour’s stock has already been beaten down in 2022, with shares being cut in half since the start of the year. Even with that decline, however, Under Armour still may be overvalued relative to its peers, Morgan Stanley said. “It’s tough to make a valuation re-rating argument from here unless performance materially accelerates, which we view as highly uncertain against the volatile macro & management turnover,” Greenberger wrote. Morgan Stanley cut its price target to $11 per share from $14. The stock closed at $10.53 per share on Wednesday. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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