It’s a light day in terms of thoughts that are running through my mind to write about, but two stories that came out in the morning stayed top of mind most of the day – and neither is good, though it’s hard to know if they portend anything bigger than with themselves.
The first was seeing that athenahealth, a leading health IT company in the Boston area, is about to go through a $100 million cost cut, and the CEO is stepping down as chairman of the board. He will also have a President who reports to him, a role they do not have at the moment. Little did I know, perhaps from glossing over it in a story, that an activist investor has come in. When that happens, the end result is always a wild card.
athenahealth has been a nice success story in the Boston area. Now it’s at a crucial juncture.
The second is Under Armour reporting a quarterly loss – their second straight. That’s big news for a company that has been trying really hard to compete with the likes of Nike and adidas. The company has certainly made inroads in college athletics, especially basketball, but losing money is a hit. They have Stephen Curry and Jordan Speith leading the way, and Yankee star rookie Aaron Judge also sports them, so they are certainly visible.
Here’s something to think about with the company right now: there will be a Bryce Harper shoe as well, and I have to say, this was the first I heard of it. I’m a baseball junkie, having played the game a great deal, coached, umpired – you name it, I’ve probably done it in baseball. How in the world is this the first I’m hearing of it? I didn’t even know Harper had a deal with them – but everyone should. I mean, he’s only one of the elite players in the game, and a good personality to boot, as we saw during some of the All-Star Game last month.
Under Armour had grown rapidly until this time, including about 12 years as a public company. What could be alarming in a big picture sense is that the company revised its full year forecast due to slowing business in the U.S. and Canada.
So it’s not the best of times for these two companies, but it may be just a bump in the road in the long run. Time will tell.