Outdoor financials: Crocs upgraded by Thomas Weisel, plus Forzani

A Thomas Weisel analyst upgraded Crocs, saying new products are doing well and growth should improve in 2011, and the Forzani Group said the Toronto Stock Exchange has approved the renewal of its buyback program for shares over the next year.
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Crocs upgraded by Thomas Weisel

A Thomas Weisel analyst upgraded Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX), saying new products are doing well and growth should improve in 2011.

Jim Duffy, a Thomas Weisel analyst, raised his rating to "overweight" from "market weight" and set a $12 share price target.

In a client note, he wrote that this spring showed a "favorable" response to new products in stores. Plus, he praised the company's new strategy for merchandise, making its offerings more cohesive, and expanding the selling season, among other steps.

Duffy told clients he expects Crocs to earn $0.33 per share in 2010 and $0.66 per share in 2011. He previously predicted 2011 income of $0.48 per share.

On the upgrade, shares of Crocs hit their highest point in almost two years on April 13 -- up $0.90, or 9.19 percent, to close at $9.79 on a volume of 9.1 million. The climb continued on April 14 with a new 52-week high of $10.59. It closed that day’s trading at $10.55, up $0.76, or 7.76 percent, on a volume of 8.2 million.



Forzani gets OK for buyback program


The Forzani Group (TSX: FGL), parent of Canada’s Sport Chek and Fitness Source, said the Toronto Stock Exchange has OK’d the renewal of its buyback program to purchase outstanding shares over the next year.

There were 30.6 million common shares issued and outstanding as of April 7. Forzani said the number of shares that can be purchased will not exceed 2.4 million -- approximately 10 percent of the public float of the company.

All purchases will be made through the facilities of the TSX. National Bank Financial will be responsible for making purchases of the common shares under the bid for Forzani.

During its last buyback program, the company purchased 103,900 common shares at an average price of $12.50.



--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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