Skechers Upgraded On Improved Wholesale Performance

By Tonya GarciaMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Skechers USA Inc. was upgraded to buy from neutral at Citi based on the company's improved wholesale performance. Analysts raised the price target to $30 from $28. Orders for Skechers merchandise indicate acceleration in the second half of the year, and Citi analysts are seeing improved performance of fresh items across multiple categories. Citi said it recently conducted checks and met with Skechers management. "[P]remium brands appear to be going more head-to-head while Skechers has shifted its focus to new categories and price points in order to capture share from value competitors and consolidation," analysts wrote in a Thursday note. Citi forecasts more than 20% year-over-year growth internationally, signalling strong momentum. Skechers shares are up more than 5% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 8.1% for the period.

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