Ugly Curry 3s are perfect metaphor for Under Armour's earnings report

CEO Kevin Plank reported his company's first-ever quarterly loss as a publicly traded company.

Disappointing sales of Stephen Curry's signature shoe were part of an Under Armour earnings call Thursday in which CEO Kevin Plank reported his company's first-ever quarterly loss as a publicly traded company.

Plank during the call (via ESPN.com):

"Our success in basketball hasn't been without its learning. As we launched the Curry 3 late last year, our expectations continued to run high. And while the 3 played very well on court for Stephen Curry and our athletes, a sluggish signature market and a warm consumer reception led to softer than expected results.

"This has created an inventory imbalance that we are working through. One that, yes, is baked into our full-year outlook which hasn't changed and, most importantly, yielded lessons we're applying ahead with the Curry 4 and beyond."

Less-than-enthusiastic reviews of the Curry 3 as well as price creep — a Curry signature shoe debuted in spring 2015 at $120 and rose to $140 for the current Curry 3 — may have contributed to slow sales, which led to retailers discounting. Under Armour itself has now discounted its unsold Curry 3s to $99.99, an almost 30 percent cut.

Plank's admission Thursday of the company's disappointment in Curry 3 sales also brought a promise: He said Under Armour would be more focused in future shoe launches "with respect to number of color offerings, scarcity, exclusive and cadence of launches to drive more consistent engagement and results."

Despite the company's first quarterly loss and the news on the Curry 3, the company's earnings report actually was better than analysts and shareholders expected, according to ESPN.com. Shares rose by more than 7 percent in early trading.

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