Susquehanna Financial Group have downgraded Under Armour Inc. stock to “negative” from “neutral” after the company’s CEO Kevin Plank called President Trump “a real asset to this country.”
Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Sam Poser criticized Plank’s comments in a research note on Wednesday, before downgrading the company to “negative” and lowering its price target from $24 to $14.
“Commentary by CEO Kevin Plank in a polarized political climate and the pointed response by Stephen Curry make it nearly impossible to effectively build a cool urban lifestyle brand in the foreseeable future,” wrote Poser, referencing Under Armour sponsor Stephen Curry, who condemned Plank’s comment. “Regardless of Plank’s political views or whether his comment was meant to be a Trump endorsement or a general opinion, we believe the decision to express a view in today’s highly charged political climate was a mistake… In this case, perception is reality. Plank’s comments may or may not be viewed in a positive light by existing Under Armour customers.”
Actor and fellow Under Armour sponsor Dwayne Johnson also condemned Plank, along with ballet dancer and Under Armour representative Misty Copeland.
Following the criticism for his mild praise of President Trump, Plank purchased a full-page advertisement in the Baltimore Sun on Wednesday to declare his support for “immigration,” “equal rights,” and “diversity.”
“We stand firmly for equal rights,” said Plank in the advert. “We believe that immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America like Under Armour. And I personally believe that immigration is the foundation of our country’s exceptionalism.”