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Crocs fever is at an all-time high after stellar first-quarter results

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·4 min read
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There is perhaps no more polarizing shoe than Crocs (CROX). But whether you love 'em or hate 'em, there's no denying Crocs fever is running high in the U.S. The iconic clogs have recently graced red carpets and the feet of some of Hollywood’s elite, and the stock is at an all-time high. 

In its Q1 earnings last week, Crocs posted a record adjusted EPS of $1.49, beating consensus estimates of $0.87, according to Bloomberg. Revenue increased 64% to $460 million, representing the third quarter the company has achieved record revenues. Crocs strong Q1 results prompted UBS to raise its price target of the casual shoemaker to $115, up from $91.

“I think the big reason is that Crocs has had a tremendous run over the last two years. They’ve had really great success making the brand more relevant with consumers. They’ve also benefited from fashion trends, and really the whole stay-at-home phenomenon during the pandemic has probably helped sales as well,” said UBS Retail Analyst Jay Sole.

Sole noted that UBS is maintaining its Neutral rating on the stock, telling Yahoo Finance that it's unknown if the pandemic conditions that helped boost Crocs will still carry its future sales.

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In early April, Crocs followed in the footsteps of other major players in the footwear space, such as Nike (NKE) and Under Armour (UA), when the company cut ties with several long-time retailers in favor of bolstering its direct-to-consumer (DTC) business. While it’s too soon to see if the move has paid off Croc’s in Q1, the brand posted DTC growth of 131%.

During the brand’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Andrew Rees was “incredibly optimistic” about the rest of 2021 and announced that the company has “substantially” raised its guidance for the year.

Digital sales were also bright for Crocs, growing 75.3%. “Digital remains our top priority, and our digital presence remains a competitive advantage relative to other footwear brands,” said Ress.

“From a channel perspective, global DTC revenues, which include revenues from e-commerce and company-owned retail stores, grew 93%. Both e-commerce and retail had extraordinary performance, and this was our 16th consecutive quarter of double-digit e-commerce growth,” said Rees. He told analysts that Crocs is focusing on putting resources, time, and energy behind the retailers that will be strategically important to its future.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 25: Questlove, shoe detail, attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)
Questlove wears crocs at the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

Though Crocs which offers more than its clogs, the company isn't technically in the athletic shoe market, but Sole noted that the casual shoe's success does not come at the expense of the athleisure boom.

“I think it’s part of it. I think people want to dress more comfortably. They want to dress more casually. I think that’s something that’s been affected by the pandemic in a positive way. It’s increased that trend and Crocs is a great shoe If you want to be more comfortable or casual around the house or just out and about with your friends. So I think Crocs has been helped by that trend … The trend toward casual dress isn’t just a one-year phenomenon. That’s been a result of the pandemic it’s been going on for decades really about four decades,” Sole said.

“We’ve seen it really only move in one direction over that time. So as much as you’re seeing some people on Wall Street put their wingtips back on, we’re really probably going to see more people wearing Crocs, believe it or not and other sneakers like Nike sneakers or Sketchers sneakers than we’ve seen in the past, because I think that’s just the trend in fashion that’s playing out,” he added.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 23: Jacob Collier attends Spotify Hosts
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 23: Jacob Collier attends Spotify Hosts "Best New Artist" Party at The Lot Studios on January 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Spotify)

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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