Under Armour pushed sales forward to boost sales targets

An investigation into Under Armour's business practices has found that in order to meet sales targets, the company would move business from future quarters to hide the fact that sales were slowing in 2016.

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That is according to former executives at the sportswear company, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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UAUNDER ARMOUR INC17.78+0.27+1.54%

Using that tactic along with others helped the company extend a streak of 20 percent sales growth for 26 quarters.

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The company would lean on retailers to take products early and send goods to off-price chains to book sales at the end of a quarter, according to former executives.

One thing that investigators are looking into are emails from Under Armour's founder and chief executive, Kevin Plank, showing he knew about efforts to move revenue between quarters, someone familiar told the Journal.

Under Armour said it is confident in its accounting practices and disclosures.

"We firmly believe that our disclosures and our accounting practices have been entirely appropriate," Under Armour said in a statement. "Our management and board of directors have reviewed this matter extensively over the past two and a half years and stand by the Company’s financial reporting."

A criminal probe is being led by the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore in conjunction with a civil securities-fraud investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the Journal.

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Under Armour has been cooperating with the investigations since July 2017.