Shares of Crocs Inc. tumbled 10% early Wednesday, after Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jim Duffy said he was no longer bullish on the casual footwear maker over the near term on the belief that the company's transition efforts will take more time. Duffy downgraded Crocs to hold from buy, and removed the $14 stock price target. He said that while he's still positive on Crocs's stock over the long term, he believes the company's assumption that revenue will growth in the high single-digit percentage range through 2018 is "aggressive," given the difficult global retail environment and "uninspiring" early-spring sales outlook. "Our early spring U.S. retail checks aren't suggestive of building brand momentum," Duffy wrote in a note to clients. "Newer styles are in Crocs stores but checks with wholesale accounts showed penetration in stores is not what we had hoped (many new products offered only online)." The stock has shed 14% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.2%.
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