On Friday, Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Under Armour has high aspirations of challenging the biggest players in the athletic products industry. Having started from the lucrative apparel niche, Under Armour has even bigger game in its sights as it expands into the highly competitive footwear segment. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Under Armour over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on Under Armour

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$467.6 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will Under Armour give investors a perfect fit this quarter?
Analysts have slashed their estimates on Under Armour for the just-ended quarter, cutting their earnings-per-share consensus from $0.19 three months ago to just $0.03 currently. Yet for the full 2013 year, they only see a decline of a nickel per share, suggesting that the company could earn back some of its shortfall in coming quarters. The stock has showed no signs of despair, however, rising nearly 20% since early January.

Under Armour has come a long way from its roots in helping to popularize athletic performance apparel. The industry has become huge, and despite the emergence of many new players, Under Armour has not only held its own but also gone after Nike (NYSE:NKE) and its dominance of the athletic footwear market. With its Spine shoe brand, Under Armour will expand beyond shoes for niche sports to tackle the much larger running-shoe market.

Under Armour certainly hasn't shied away from the fight against rivals. In February, Under Armour sued Nike for trademark infringement, claiming Nike was illegally using variants of its "I Will" catch-phrase in advertising. Meanwhile, the company has taken on lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) outside the courtroom by looking to expand its women's offerings and dedicate more floor space in its own stores to appeal to women.

Another innovative area Under Armour has targeted recently is smart-watch technology. With its Armour39 biometric strap, the company hopes to let athletes monitor their performance in real time while providing more detailed information than the competing Nike FuelBand.

In Under Armour's earnings report, watch for confirmation that customers are enthusiastic about the company's latest innovations. With the stock trading at a high multiple, Under Armour needs to be sure to keep its growth rate high in order to avoid a big share-price plunge.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter: @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends lululemon athletica, Nike, and Under Armour and owns shares of Nike and Under Armour. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.