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Under Armour shares punctured after WSJ report reveals DOJ accounting probe

The athletic apparel company also posted third-quarter results, which revealed a full-year guidance cut

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The DOJ is investigating revenue-recognition practices, a process by which companies either report revenue before it has been earned or push back the dates on expenses

Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) shares swooned overnight Monday after a Wall Street Journal report revealed a Justice Department probe into whether the company shifted sales from quarter to quarter to obscure its results. 

The probe hasn’t been made public, the report said, although investigators have begun questioning people in Baltimore, where the sportswear producer is based. 

Investors reacted decisively, and shares traded more than 17% lower Monday at $15.60.

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According to anonymous sources, the Justice Department is undergoing a criminal inquiry alongside civil investigators at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The investigation is centered on revenue-recognition practices, a process by which companies either report revenue before it has been earned or push back the dates on expenses to shift them into the next quarter. 

Adding insult to injury, the company’s third-quarter results — published early Monday morning — revealed a cut in full-year guidance. 

The company revised down its 2019 revenue growth to 2% from prior expectations of 3% to 4% growth, blaming the slowdown on lower than expected excess inventory, direct-to-consumer challenges and changes in foreign currency. 

Together, the negative news were more than enough to outweigh earnings and revenue that each topped Street expectations. 

Under Armour saw earnings of $0.23 per share on revenue of $1.43 billion, more than the $0.18 earnings and $1.41 billion in revenue called for by analysts. 

The company earned $0.17 per share on revenue of $1.44 billion in the third quarter of 2018.

—Updated to include stock movement—

Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Quick facts: Under Armour Inc

Price: 14.57 USD

NYSE:UA
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $6.58 billion
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