Shares of Crocs (CROX 6.38%) gained 15.7% in July, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as a noted analyst offered encouraging words for the casual footwear company ahead of its second-quarter 2019 report.
To be sure, we don't normally pay close attention to Wall Street's models. But we couldn't help but notice when Crocs popped 7% on July 15, 2019, alone -- then drifted higher for the rest of the month -- after Piper Jaffray's Erinn Murphy upgraded the stock from neutral to overweight, raising her per-share price target by $5 to $27.
To justify her relative bullishness, Murphy pointed to improved pricing trends, channel checks of Crocs' outlets indicating strong traffic for the summer season, and the apparent popularity of the company's new Vera Bradley collection of shoes.
Sure enough, Murphy's call proved to be spot-on: Shares rallied another 7% on August 1, 2019, after Crocs' official second-quarter report hit the wires. Revenue climbed 9.4% year over year to $358.9 million, as 9.4% wholesale growth and an 18% increase in e-commerce revenue more than offset a $6 million negative impact from recent store closures. On the bottom line, Crocs' non-GAAP (adjusted) net income rose 9.3% to $0.59 per share, handily beating consensus estimates for earnings of $0.45 per share.
Crocs also told investors last week it expects third-quarter 2019 revenue to be between $295 million and $305 million, good for accelerated growth of roughly 15% at the midpoint. As such, Crocs raised its full-year outlook to call for revenue growth of 9% to 11% from $1.088 billion in 2018 (up from its old target for 5% to 7% growth).
In the end, it was no surprise to see Crocs shares rally on the heels of that report. But I do think Murphy deserves a tip of the hat for her timely upgrade last month.