The stock market soared on Friday, buoyed by optimism about the prospects for a compromise tax reform package getting through Congress as early as next week and going to the White House for expected enactment for 2018. It appeared that last-minute potential Republican holdouts had their needs met through tweaks to the final proposal, and investors focused their attention on stocks that could benefit the most from lower corporate taxes and the ability to repatriate overseas profits at dramatically reduced tax rates. In addition, encouraging company-specific news helped lift some stocks far higher than the roughly 1% gains posted by broad market benchmarks. Crocs (CROX -0.80%), Under Armour (UA -2.54%) (UAA -2.41%), and DDR (SITC -1.07%) were among the best performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
Crocs takes a big step forward
Shares of Crocs leapt higher by more than 14% after getting positive comments from stock analysts. Favorable views for the footwear specialist came from analysts at Stifel, which upgraded the stock from hold to buy and boosted their price target for the shares by 75% to $14 per share. Crocs expects to close stores in the first half of 2018, but analysts believe that better brand awareness will lead to revenue growth that will offset any closure-related pressure. With the opportunity to grow outside the U.S. in key areas like China and Europe, Crocs could keep up the momentum that has helped its stock double since earlier this year.
Wall Street likes Under Armour, too
Under Armour stock picked up 10% as a separate analyst at Stifel also made favorable predictions about the athletic apparel company's prospects for 2018. An upgrade from hold to buy and a price target boost from $12 to $17 per share reflected the analyst company's views that the terrible conditions in Under Armour's market will finally start to improve in the coming year, helping the company's fundamental rebound. At the same time, the moves that Under Armour took to cut costs and control inventory should still pay off for the company in higher profits. It might even turn out that in the long run, the discipline that tougher competition imposed on Under Armour will be to its shareholders' benefit.
DDR concentrates on growth
Finally, shares of DDR jumped over 11%. The real estate investment trust said that it would spin off roughly 50 properties in its shopping center portfolio into a separately traded REIT to be called Retail Value Trust. The move includes all of DDR's current holdings in Puerto Rico. Strategically, DDR believes that the assets it will retain should have the best quality and have higher growth prospects than what's contained in the spinoff. How investors will receive Retail Value Trust remains to be seen, but the move culminates a long transformation for DDR that it hopes will give it the best chance to thrive in the future.