Outdoor financials: VF gets analyst thumbs-up, plus Wellman, Crocs

VF Corp. gets thumbs-up from UBS and Prudential, Wellman raising fiber product price, and Crocs settles a third lawsuit.

VF Corp. gets thumbs-up from UBS and Prudential
VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) is garnering favor from at least two brokerage firms: UBS and Prudential Equity Group.

First, UBS analyst Jeffrey B. Edelman upgraded the company's stock from a "Neutral" to "Buy" rating and also raised his target price on the shares from $64 to $75. Then, a Prudential Equity Group analyst raised her target price on VF Corp. stock after meeting with VF executives.

Prudential's Lizabeth Dunn titled her note to investors: "Highlights from meetings with mgmt. The largest, best-run, most-profitable apparel company that you've been ignoring."
She raised her target price on VF from $70 to $75, citing the company's "strong brands, solid strategy and excellent execution." Dunn maintained her "Overweight" rating on the stock.

Dunn added that VF "continues to be our favorite value name," after meeting with Bob Shearer, VF's chief financial officer, and Cindy Knoebel, VF's vice president of investor relations.

Wellman raising fiber product price

Wellman (NYSE: WLM) reported that it is raising the price of all chemical-based Fortrel polyester staple fiber products by 4 cents a pound. The company said the price increase was due to the continued escalation in the cost of petrochemical-based raw materials and their feedstocks.

Wellman's stock has been gradually decreasing over the past year from a former high of $11.05, hitting a new low of $3.67 on June 22 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Crocs settles a third lawsuit
Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) is on a tear having settled a third patent infringement lawsuit in the last month. The company and Inter-Pacific Trading Corp., a Canadian import and export company, have agreed to settle a lawsuit concerning Crocs' proprietary footwear for an undisclosed sum.

The lawsuit, pending in the United States District for the District of Colorado, charged that Inter-Pacific infringed Crocs' U.S. patents and its trade dress. A separate complaint pending in the International Trade Commission alleged unfair acts regarding the importation of infringing footwear.

As part of the settlement, Inter-Pacific has agreed to not infringe Crocs' patents and trade dress in the future, and Crocs has released Inter-Pacific and its customers of any past liability.

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