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Investors call foul on Skechers

Talking Numbers

Investors call foul on Skechers

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Investors call foul on Skechers

Investors call foul on Skechers
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Skechers is looking at buying the Los Angeles Clippers. But, should investors look at buying the shoemaker's stock?

In a statement, CEO Robert Greenberg said, "As one of the five largest athletic footwear companies in the United States and with roots deep in Southern California, we believe acquiring an interest in the Los Angeles Clippers is a natural fit for Skechers."

The market, however, had other ideas. Shares of the footwear company were down around 5 percent Friday. Portfolio manager Chad Morgan of Stifel's Washington Crossing Advisors says Skechers' stock is still overvalued.

"The valuation just doesn't justify where it is right now," Morganlander said. "The problem with the company is that it's not consistent. Their operating margins over the last several years have been jumping around in erratic fashion."

Although its 2013 operating margins of 4.8 percent were close to Skechers' 10-year average, the range of those margins has been anywhere from -6.1 percent to 9.6 percent, according to FactSet. Its balance sheet may have $115 million in cash and no debt, but Skechers' plans to build up its athletic shoe business – a potential reason to acquire an NBA team – make the stock's prospect unappealing, according to Morganlander.

"They have to compete with Nike and Adidas," Morganlander said. "That's tough sledding."

Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer & Co., is more optimistic about Skechers in the long run but sees a little bit of a short-term pullback.

"The charts don't look bad," Wald said. "I think longer term, the stock can go higher. I think momentum can take it there."

In the meantime, Wald said investors should hold off buying shares, despite what he sees as a healthy general uptrend in the stock. Although the stock jumped after Skechers released its first-quarter earnings report, it created a "gap" in the charts that technicians believe ultimately gets filled.

"The bottom of the gap comes in at around $37," Wald said. "Its 50-day moving average is also there. I'd buy it at $37 and play for that move to $45."

Check out the above video for the full discussion on CNBC “Street Signs.”

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