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Ugly Shoe Trend Rescues Crocs; Shares Increase 17%

Crocs still has some bite, it seems.

The EVA footwear brand’s shares surged 17 percent on Friday after Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jim Duffy increased the stock from a hold to a buy. The stock hit a two-year high of $12.61.

In a note to investors obtained by Financial Times, Duffy said the firm was encouraged by Crocs’ “strategic direction” and was impressed by the brand’s renewed relevancy in North America. Duffy increased his price target for the shares from $8 to $14.

“In combination with growth opportunities in Europe, China, and Korea, we have more confidence in 2018 revenue potential,” Duffy added.

Crocs has been on the upswing. The Boulder-Colorado based company beat Wall Street expectations in the first and second quarters of 2017, owing its incremental success to better management of inventory and its continued shift toward more molded product.

A series of unique collaborations have helped Crocs secure a place on the social media feeds of Millennial and Gen Z consumers. The brand’s signature clogs have become a fashion darling among high-end fashion designers banking on the “ugly shoe” trend. Balenciaga featured Crocs platform in its Spring ’18 collection.

[Read more about footwear: Allbirds Sues Steve Madden Over Look-Alike Wool Sneakers]

Meanwhile, British designer Christopher Kane followed up his Spring ’17 and Spring ’18 runway collections with Crocs with a more affordable Christopher Kane x Crocs limited-edition line in August. The collection, stamped with bold zebra tiger prints and feather and charm ornaments, retail for $59.99.

In Spring ’18, the company will roll out a new collaboration with actress Drew Barrymore, who signed on as a brand ambassador for Crocs in 2016. Crocs will also introduce a LiteRide Collection, a new line of athleisure sandals and closed-toe silhouettes geared toward millennials.