Amer Sports rises as brokerages start coverage with focus on China demand


By Ananya Mariam Rajesh

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Amer Sports AS.N shares rose as much as 3.5% on Monday as analysts initiated coverage with largely bullish ratings and highlighted strong demand for the Wilson tennis racket maker's premium outdoor and sportswear products in China.

The company returned to public markets on Feb. 1 after selling shares at a discounted price in its U.S. IPO for a valuation of $6.3 billion. China's Anta Sports 2020.HK bought the company in 2019.

At least 10 brokerages, including TD Cowen and Bernstein, on Monday rated the stock "outperform" and UBS assigned the highest price target of $23.

The shares were trading at $16, giving the company a market value of $8 billion, in early trading on Monday, compared with the IPO price of $13.

"I think Arc'teryx and Salomon are being well received by the market in China. Both brands have been catering to the region with unique in-store experiences, products and campaigns," Jane Hali & Associates senior analyst Jessica Ramirez said.

TD Cowen expects China to generate 43% of the company's total incremental sales growth into fiscal 2027. Revenue from China rose about 68% to $593 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

"Revenues are growing, margins are growing and adjusted EBITDA is growing. It will take some time to grow into its valuation, but this is a business that will endure," said Thomas Hayes, chairman of hedge fund Great Hill Capital.

Analysts also expect Amer Sports to improve its performance in the U.S., helped by customers upgrading sports equipment and from Salomon's innovative running shoes that have gained market share from Nike NKE.N and Adidas ADSGn.DE.

(Reporting by Ananya Mariam Rajesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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