Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX ) were gobbling up some serious gains today, moving up as much as 22% after announcing that the Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX ) was taking a major stake in the footwear maker and also that its CEO was retiring.
So what: The investment firm agreed to purchase $200 million worth of convertible preferred stock in the struggling shoe vendor. Blackstone will gain two board seats as a result of the move, and Crocs will use the cash infusion as part of a $350 million share buyback. Separately, Crocs said CEO John McCarvel was retiring as of April 30, 2014. McCarvel noted that Blackstone's recent investment was a "vote of confidence in our company and our brand." Finally, the shoe maker said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to come in at the low end of its previously stated guidance of $220 million-$225 million, and also said it sees an earnings-per-share loss of $0.20-$0.23 for the quarter.
Now what: While it's generally a good sign to see a major purchase by a reputable investment group such as Blackstone, the investment and the related share buyback plan do nothing to improve operations at the shoe maker. And there have been plenty examples of foolish investments in the recent past from supposed hedge fund stars like Bill Ackman, who took a bath on stakes in Herbalife and J.C. Penney in the past year. Crocs has found stability following concerns that its shoes were just a fad back in 2007, but this is still just a low-growth stock with no particularly compelling reason to buy. I'd stay away.
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