November 13, 2008 / 4:19 PM / 11 years ago

Crocs stock plunges after big loss shocks Wall St

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Crocs Inc (CROX.O) plummeted more than 58 percent on Thursday, a day after the maker of colorful clogs posted a deep quarterly loss due to high restructuring costs.

Crocs, whose quirky shoes were once a cult hit, reported a third-quarter net loss on Wednesday of $1.79 per share, compared with a net profit of 66 cents per share a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring, impairment and inventory-related charges, Crocs posted a loss of 53 cents per share. On that basis analysts had expected a profit of 2 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales fell 32 percent in the quarter to $174.2 million, below both Wall Street estimates and Croc’s previous forecast.

One bright spot was Asian sales, which were up 14 percent, but analysts said that was not enough to convince the market that Crocs can weather the tough economic climate.

“We see no reason to believe that Asian revenues will not follow U.S. and European revenues, lemming-like, off a cliff,” wrote Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Jeff Mintz in a note.

Crocs’ quirky bright and comfortable resin clogs quickly attracted a dedicated following after debuting in 2002 and the company soon became a Wall Street favorite.

But the novelty of the clogs waned, and the weak U.S. economy further crimped business and hampered investor interest in the stock. Crocs have also been hurt by news its shoes can become caught in escalators an cause injuries, by cheaper knock-offs, and by a recent European Union ruling that a Crocs patent is invalid.

Crocs stock hit a lifetime high of $75.21 in October of last year. The stock has since shed nearly 99 percent of its value.

Shares of Crocs were down 51 percent at 92 cents on Thursday morning on the Nasdaq.

Reporting by Sarah Coffey, editing by Matthew Lewis

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