Crocs Buyout Sounds Like a Crock

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Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) is surging on Wednesday on what feels a lot like some over-reporting or some serious hope for a company that has violated the trust of investors routinely. Bloomberg reported that Crocs is considering strategic options after leveraged buyout discussions have stalled. Stalled?

Sterne Agee opined on the matter. For the record, Sterne Agee has an Underperform rating on Crocs shares with a downside price target of $10.00 for the stock.

Sterne Agee’s Sam Poser said, “We believe that Crocs is not an easy takeover candidate due to its fleet of 585 stores spread across multiple geographies, and 90% of its cash balance sitting offshore. Furthermore, we do not see many synergies as Crocs’s products and manufacturing process is not easily leverageable by other companies.”

Doesn’t that sound promising? Keep in mind that Crocs is now a $1.2 billion market cap. Also consider that any buyout anywhere close to at the money will cause substantial losses to a lot of shareholders who own the stock at much higher prices.

Poser also pointed out that any would-be acquirer of Crocs would need to have substantial international operations to take advantage of the over $290 million in cash that is outside of the United States and that cash cannot get back in without a steep penalty.

Crocs shares were up over 9% in late-Wednesday trading at $13.83 on about 10-times normal trading volume. Its 52-week trading range is $11.96 to $17.95 and we would point out that this was a $30 stock as recently as 2011.